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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    October 1, 2012
    8:00 - 1:00am EDT  

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war. i am sorry, i cannot accept that. >> that was part of the debate that happened october 11, 1992. that first 2012 debate takes place this wednesday from the university of denver. you can see it here on c-span or less and on c-span radio or watch online. now another senate debate life from nebraska between democrat bob kerrey and republican dead fisher. -- fischer. cable satellite corp. 2012] national captioning institute] >> did evening and welcome.
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i will be the moderator for this third debate between nebraska's u.s. senate candidates. we welcome those joining us on net and to the live strain on me net website. we welcome this across the station -- the nation joining us on c-span. if you are on twitter, follow us on -- for the next hour the candidates will face questions from the nebraskan journalists. the rules are simple. each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond to a question, then 30 seconds for
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rebuttal. tonight's debate is taking place before a live studio audience pier ed before we meet the candidates, let's introduce the panelists. begin with a journalist for 30 years, the last 11 with net news, fred knapp. then colleen williams, and she has spent 10 has spentnet in central nebraska. hanlon.vin o' now it is time to meet the
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candidates for nebraska's u.s. senate seat. we held. tosses to determine the order of different parts of the debate. as a result, the first candidate to present a statement is deb fischer. thank you. if we keep sending the same type of person back to washington come, we cannot expect any kind of change. in the press that we make tough decisions and move on. in nebraska, we are able to do that. we are fed up. that is another reason why i am running. they said enough spending come out enough in debt, and enough taxes we have made changes that grows this economy, and that is
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why i am running for the united states senate. to change the want leadership in washington. we can change that. that is why i am running for the senate. i want to pass a balanced budget. i am not your usual politician. i'm not one of the good old boys pay ed i will make this tough decisions in the united states senate. i will roll up my sleeves, work hard for you, and i will fight for you. >> now the opening statement from bob kerrey. >> thank you. i love nebraska. i always have and i always will. i was born here in lincoln. i left nebraska and went to war
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and came home, and i recovered from illness in the lincoln. i started a business that employed more than 700 people. i served as your governor, balancing our budget, and i left after four years and went back to business. i served as your son that -- as your senator, and again we balance our budget. i am a candidate for congress for the senate because congress needs to change, and i will fight to make that happen. i have never had and never will be a cookie cutter politician. i never have and never will be anything other than someone who loves nebraska and will always do what is best for our state and nation. >> now that the candidates have made their statements, it is time for questions. we begin with fred knapp. >> good evening.
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you are running to be not just a senator from nebraska, but a u.s. senator. if elected, how will you balance economic interests of agriculture with those of the nation, and should confiscate any to require use of up to 15 billion gallons a year of ethanol, taking 40% of the nation's corn crop, when critics say that raises food prices for everyone? >> the critics are wrong. the nation plus interests in agriculture are aligned. it is one of our most competitive industry. the interest of agriculture and the united states are aligned and i am appalled that neither governor romney or president obama is talking about agriculture in this campaign. it is an important part, a foundation of the u.s. economy. ethanol, i fought for ethanol
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since i was governor. it has lowered the price of fuel. it is created tens of thousands of jobs. i was in blair last week, a great example of bipartisan effort. there is a new dcompany with a hundred jobs. is is not a failure. this is not a threat to our economy. the interest of agriculture and the united states are completely in alignment. there's no need to choose. >> senator fischer? >> i grew up in lincoln. my husband and i have been married for 40 years. agriculture is important to the state. what is important is that we always work together as a state.
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is urban and rural interests, and because of agriculture, it is important to the state of nebraska a. one entry jobs is dependent on the agriculture economy. people across nebraska realize and understand that. we need to keep in mind, a balancing act. we have done that in nebraska and we have done that in the last a years in the legislature. that is how we grow our economy. we have weathered this economy fairly well in the state of nebraska because of the agriculture economy being strong, because it has carried us through, and that is recognized across the state. ey, 30 seconds? >> my problem with what she talks about here and in other areas is that her signing of the northwest pledge, her support of
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this particular balanced budget amendment will necessitate deeper cuts in everything she talks about that she wants to do, including crop insurance. a republican of from kansas and i offered that back in the 1990's. we have to ask the question, what is the impact on the breast of the fischer plan? >> we hear about the norquist pledge, i pledge that i have made to the people of the state of nebraska. when ronald reagan was president, we had a debt of that time of $1 trillion. today is $16 trillion. ronald reagan said that we cannot do is put a carrot anymore. it will take a stick, and that stick is the balanced budget amendment. i can tell you is 16 trillion dollars, we need a big stick.
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we can do that. we can cut spending and balance this budget. >> the next question from calling williams -- colleen williams? >> what is the one thing we can do to improve education in this country? >> i have served over 15 years on different school boards. it plans to stand the importance of education. it works best on the local level, works best when you have board members and parents involved, a community in fall, and many have at decatur's involved. when of the mistakes that has been made at that federal level is the passage of the no child left behind act. it started out with good intentions, but if has not accomplished what it should have. it has taken educators at of the
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classroom, and we need to keep educators in the classroom if they are going to address the needs of students. important thing is to make sure these kids arrive in kindergarten ready to learn. if they are behind, they will never catch up. i will not win a nobel prize for making that discovery. the rhetoric of senator fischer and her proposals to not add up. her budget proposal will result in deep cuts both your early childhood education and head start. it is a fact. i am not exaggerating. it is not just the grover norquist pledge root i know o-- is not just the grover norquist pledge.
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i know grover well. he is honest. he would like to see medicare privatized. that is what he wants. he has a particular sion fokiar makehevehe qua edn i i have ner had in nebsk mgo to washingto ep spending. that is not howe did . i have been on e fron lin in education, have served on a board, in a small district where you deal intimately with staff and with students and parents. we have been successful in here in that state doing this. u can examine a groupudmpact fiher on nebraska.
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it will cut jobs. itaser vot againstrenatal caor wom not ce dy s is at s hasinpasto tt s an vote e most important thing we can do to make sure we have success in our schools. >> this is the nebraska u.s. senate debate live from lincoln. together with libraries across nebraska, short videos have been recorded in which citizens talk about the issues important to them and allows them to ask questions. tonight you will hear from citizens and our first question bowser.rom margaret popp >> the other problem i would like to see address is huge
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campaign finance reform. our elections are being sold to the highest bidder. that is not what our alexians should be about. >> -- that is not what our elections should be about. >> when i say i will fight to change congress, i mean it. i have an amendment to our constitution that i think would make people proud. it says congress must organize itself in a non-partisan fashion. it's y c have no more than 12 years of consecutive service, and says congress has the authority to ban all outside money. the question is right. even if it inoteality, the perception is politics have been corrupted by money. i am a -- nobody thought at you were correct as a consequence of what it took in
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1992. constituti ss if you're 30 yearsou cun, but if you did not have the money you cannot run. is corruptg our decision making, and we got to change our nstituon to limit wh can be spent in caaigns. >> i am proud of the facthat on our last campaign finance report about the mustard in over 70% of my contributions came from nebraska is cents. with mr. kerrey, his contributions came from out of state. if we're going to run campaigns, i hope to engage citizens, and that is what i have been doing, traveling the state cannot engaging the citizens, garnering support across nebraska. we did it in the primary.
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there was so much enthusiasm and excitement, and we have that now. we have it with local people in nebraska. when you talk about possible financial reforms, we need more transparency. we need more accountability. maybe monthly reports. there are things that can be looked at to make it a more transparent process. that is what campaign finance is about. >> i want to disagree. if we do not amend the constitution to ban outside spending, you will see a continuation of this fact. waterboarding is more popular in the press kit today than the congress, because they think -- that the banks spent money try to water down the bill.
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>> i can tell nebraskans donated to my campaign, over 70%, they do not expect they bought any the. it doesn't happen in the legislature and it will not happen in the united states senate. for someone to say that you want to amend the constitution, it is easier said than done. that is a very difficult process to go through, and i think amending the constitution to make it a non-partisan body, how does that help with campaign finance, which needs to be open an accd transparent? >> good evening. a main calling it seems to have become as much of a fabric as [indiscernbile] most people seemed tired of it. you're not allowed to not answer that. what are the three qualities or
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accomplishments that would make your opponent a great u.s. senator? >> i respect mr. kerrery for his service to our country, for his service as a governor, and service in the united states senate. that being said, i am not supporting you in this election pe. [laughter] i think you for that. it is very important, and i want to honor you for it. you have a different perspective when it comes to the tune of government than i do. i think you believe that government is the wherewithal for what we need in this country. i do not. i believe in private enterprise, private responsibility, but i thank you for your service. welcome for that service. i respect that she is a mother,
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a rancher, a small business person. i think she is campaigning in all three of those things they have a great deal of respect for what she did on a school board and a legislature. you are always putting yourself at risk. we have fundamental disagreements. the negative advertising, in one year and -- on you have to do is avoid watching television is not a bad option. what she just said is not true. i started a business in nebraska, and the first thing i had to do to start our business must get a permit from the city office, talk to the county, the state. i understand that government does not create jobs. i understand you've got to be careful with taxes and regulation to make that hpen. thats political rhetoric in my view, and it does not resemble the facts. she said it is diffult to
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amd the constitution. was in favor of raising the shooting age we got it done in 90 days. i have no doubt i could persuade americans that this amendment will improve the quality of the effort that appears in congress. >> now i would have to say that i would admire your determination, to believe that you can do something like that, because i think it would be a mighty task to undertake. i do not see congress changing that quickly. nonpartisan legislatures work in nebraska. i am a part of that, have worked with my colleagues on the number of issues for the last a years, and we have accomplished a lot. i am very proud of that fact. it is not that easy, not that easy. what we need to do is make sure that have people who are elected
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who are willing to step forward and work across the aisle, not career politicians. >> just because it is difficult is not mean we should do it. i believe i can persuade americans to do it. congress will oppose this. i will fight to change the rules of the filibuster. i will announce today cutting pensions, staff, and the executive branch. we're going to have to lead with that kind of effort. >> fred knapp xanax question. >> -- fred knapp hazmat our next question. but nebraska has the second lowest unemployment rate in the
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nation, but over the last year the bureau of labor statistics says the rate is over twice of that, those who are discouraged, not looking for work. what can you do to improve that situation? >> there is nothing worse in life and wanting work and not finding a job. in a lot of ways, it is outside the reach of the experience of senator fischer and myself. you got to keep agriculture healthy. we have got 19 companies in omaha the process food every day. she is opposed to the proposal that would remove a tax that made it difficult on those food- processing jobs. you got to think of that tax and regulation burden. you got to support private-
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public partnerships, and there are lots of ways to did it. there is an entering program, a small thing -- a mentoring program, but the public-private partnerships, throughout the state are enormously important, and her plan will make things difficult. it just will appear at the facts say so. you cannot run away from it. you got to cut away a trillion .ollars of spending >> the fishcer plan is a jobs plan, to allow small businesses to grow, crate jobs, and turn this economy around. the fischer plan is so families
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can save for their kids' education. my plant means we back government away from small businesses and let small businesses create jobs. that is how we are going to turn this economy around, how we will get on the road to recovery. we will reduce regulation. i tell the story about meeting with home builders in lincoln, and they told me that instead of inspectors coming and saying you need to change this, fix this to meet a regulation, in the last four years what they are seeing our inspectors coming in. one builder had a ladder leaning up against the wall, and he was fined $7,000. we need to reduce those government regulations. if we want businesses to grow in this economy, you know what the fisher plan is? is that we need to look at the
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corporate tax rate, looking at 35% corporate tax rate. that is the highest among our trading partners. we need to lowered that to 24%. we need to allow businesses to create jobs in this country and in this state. we have done that in nebraska. that is the fischer sloagan. -- slogan. the balanced budget proposal she has is $1 trillion of cuts, that will increase unemployment 50%, break our commitments to seniors, break the obligation we have to veterans, we can our military. that is what it does, and this is outside analysis that shows what these cuts will do. she says that sequester will cut our military will be a bad thing.
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her proposal is 10 times worse. >> i will continue with the fischer plan, which will reduce energy cuts. -- costs. my plan will allow for free trade when you have administration that will get this trade agreements to congress and signed sow our economy can grow. we have done it in nebraska, we have provided property tax relief. those are specifics, not slogans. i have not heard that from his plan. >> this has been the nebraska u.s. senate debate. i am dennis kellogg. a reminder to give us your thoughts on the debate on twitter and facebook. tonight we put questions to deb fischer and bob kerrey.
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they will each ask one question of the other, and we will begin with senator fischer. >> you talk about cutting spending, you talk about bipartisanship, yet when you were in the united states senate, when the welfare reform bill came up, he fought against it. that was a bipartisan bill, put forward by president clinton. i liked the bill. john kerry and joe biden voted for the bill. that was an important piece of legislation. vote againstp cutting spending, requiring people to work for their checks,
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and against that landmark legislation? >> i did not boast against -- i did not vote against cutting spending p. i work with john t. sick and newt gingrich in 1997, and eat a balanced budget. it got the job done. the balanced the budget. we were paying off debt. the unemployment rate was going down. other than that it did not work. i did not like the welfare bill, because it did not provide the kind of child care support that we needed to provide, and became in in 1997 and did it. i did not require -- i did not oppose people of the kind to have to work. i do not disagree with that position at all. to say that i have opposed
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spending cuts is inaccurate. i was governor in 1983 when we were in recession. week lowered the tax on food as a consequence of a significant effort by the legislature. it was every interest group in the state that lined up. spend more money here, there. we held the line. in this campaign, i have endorsed republican proposals to cut spending, by conservative senator from oklahoma tom coburn. us on the way to do it. >> you have 30 seconds. >> this piece of legislation was a signature achievement of president clinton. it was a vote against cutting
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spending. he did not cut spending than. i do not know if you will cut spending if you go back to the senate. i did not want to see taxes raised. that is not a future i see for this country. if we are quite to cut spending, i support a balanced budget amendment because politicians will spend every dime they get. we need a bigger stick. >> senator kerrery? -- senator kerrey? >> the top in the last debate about taking care of our that is one trillion dollars.
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i know you decided 2001 was a great year. how are you going to cut one trillion dollars chairman -- 1 trillion dollars? >> this is where we differ, because i see a brighter future for america. people hear me say that. i see a more positive future. i believe we can turn this economy around. we can have the economy recover. it is not all about cutting spending. that is an important part, but you have to grow an economy if you are going to create jobs and opportunities, and i believe it can be done. i think my view of the future is more positive than yours, because you look at cutting spending, but you look at raising taxes. that is a fundamental difference between us. >> i will say it again.
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in this campaign, there is a republican proposal to cut spending. a republican from oklahoma announced a one trillion dollars in cuts to the executive branch. i understand we have to cut spending, but my point is all this optimistic, i am very optimistic about our future. when you cut one trillion dollars because you do not want to raise taxes on people making over $1 million, when you do that in cuts alone, you make it impossible to keep our commitments from being even better. >> now back to our journalist from mtv with a question directed to senator fisher. >> one part of healthcare reform did away with insurance company's ability to deny coverage for people with pre-
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existing conditions. part of the trade-off was requiring people to have coverage for individual mandates. good would you say we are keeping pre-existing conditions coverage, and if so, how would you pay for it? >> i support repealing the health care act. what i hear from the state of nebraska is they supported it as well. did we do not like the individual mandate. we do not like the government coming between a doctor and a patient. pre-existing conditions, that is important we are able to address that. what i will tell you is we will not pay for it by spilling over 7000 billion dollars from medicare. that was the trade-off on the health-care aren't now. that was the deal made.
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that is not sound policy. everybody knows it is not sound policy. we can look for savings with tort reform. medical procedures that are required are often unnecessary. that is one way we can look at it. >> i signed a bill, and it had no impact of all. this is a decrease in payment to insurance companies and hospitals. that is what it is. you will be eligible for medicare in four or five years. the problem is medicare will be insolvent in 2016. under current law and will monti have solved until -- it will not be of solvent until
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2014. i just talked about the need to cut spending. i support the affordable health care act. i liked the idea of the pre- existing conditions can no longer be cited as a reason not to underwrite some buddy. -- somebody. prescription drug has already got a benefit, but there are 120,000 in 2014. they get $3,000 each. they are making about $10 an hour. they are going to be able to buy health insurance. they will be more likely to hold their health care together and -- hold their family together. you will have a hard time finding anyone saying they are opposed because of the good it will do to our economy and our people.
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thus we do disagree, because the $700 million is a cut to those providers, and those providers have said they expected to make it up by the increase in patients that would be coming due to obamacare. we are going to see 23 million people that are going to lose their employer insurance because of the health care act. this is not a good policy. >> it is not true. she loughner june -- she wants to spend $700 billion more on medicare. it is true obamacare will provide $1 billion to nebraska hospitals and.
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the fact is congress did not steal money from medicare. they preserved his life. >> our next question is directed toward senator kerrey. >> the united states has been at war since 2001, and i think it is safe to say most americans are war-wary. that being said, what should be u.s. policy towards iran, and when to use support military force to -- when do you support military force, and does it require private consent of congress? >> of course it should. i do not think we should allow iran to acquire nuclear weapons, but i think we should be very careful i went to a war that was
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very popular when it started. this war on terror did not start in 2001. we were attacked long before that we were attacked in 1983, 1993 in new york city. we were attacked in our embassies in 1997. of the problem is we did not recognize the threat common -- did not recognize the threat. these people have declared war and are engaging in war like tactics, using terrorism to go after us. they do not question this predates 2001. no one should doubt there is an existential threat to the united
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states of america, regardless of where you are in the world. thank you. iran should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons. that needs to be made clear. we have an administration that has foreign policy that is in confusion. it is not clear to our allies. in 2009 we saw student , and no word from this administration. in 2011 the united states stepped forward with a sanction. i am happy european nations have stepped forward with a sanction, but we need to be clear with our ally, israel, and this is not their problem. it is not just a problem in that
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region. this is a problem for the world. it is estimated in three years the iranians are going to be able to reach the united states. this is our concern, and we have heard nothing from the sun ministration -- from this administration with regards to iran enriching. there is a lack of clarity. i want america to remain a stabilizing force in in the world. we need to have thought, but with lack of leadership, lack of clarification, when our allies do not know what we are doing common we have lost that. >> thank you. senator kerry. >> this is a confusing time after the arab spring. it is hard to find out what is going on in the middle east. they do not call it the persian
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gulf for nothing. there are 80 million people in iran, and the day after we were attacked in 9-11, there were two countries in celebration. one was israel, and the other was iran. of people like us. if they are not careful, we will turn the people against them as well. >> i want to follow up on part of your question as well. we are looking at a dictator who is murdering his own people. i am not advocating entering that country. we need to monitor the situation. we do not even know who the rebels are. there is indication it could be al qaeda. we need to be careful, but i would suggest showing leadership and trying to pressure russia and have them
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try to step in with this situation. >> we told you earlier in this debate about the election project, which jos citizen across the state region without citizen -- which ask citizens to record comments and questions. you can still record your opinion and send them to us. you can also tune in for a special on october 19 as the same candidates will answer more questions from nebraska. we have one more question in this survey. it comes from fellow in winnebago. >> there is not a lot of discussion of the national level from our elected leadership
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about environmental issues, a push to extract oil from our land, and the other issue would be global warming theory we are talking about environmental issues. good we are talking about extracting oil through land and climate change. >> i have an energy plan. i have had it for over a year now, and that energy plan is all of the above. we realize we have an abundance of natural resources in our states and our country, and i believe they need to be managed responsibly. we need to drill for oil. we need to look at new oil shale. we need to look at clean coal.
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of the united states has a huge amount of coal. and we understand coal-fired electric plants. that is how we keep our electric rates low for consumers of low for businesses as well. the governor can tell you when he talks to businesses in trying to attract them into our state, those costs have of a part to play to attract those businesses to come here. we need to look up grenoble's. we need to let the wind and solar. we have not -- we need to look at ethanol. we need to let the wind and solar. with regards to climate change, what matters is the policy the united states is going to implement to address climate change.
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we have seen cap and trade. neither support cap and trade. >> thank you, senator fisher. senator kerry. >> one reason we have low cost power is we own production. faddists why it -- that is why our rates are low. it is because government is involved that our rates are low. it is undeniably true. i am not suggesting we nationalize the oil company. i agree we need to do all of the above. on the other hand, the question occurs are human beings warming the planet, and you answered no. i do not think you can solve any problem unless you and if there is a problem, and i do not know and -- i know people do not want to change, but we grow our food outside, andis more vulnerable
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to the weather than nebraska. it is not like taking a piece of trash and throwing it on the ground so someone can pick it up afterwards. it is not like a number of other things we are doing. one thing we all do is talk about our children and grandchildren. now if we do not do something about this problem, and i do not disagree about cap and trade. if we do not try to solve the problem, 40 years from now, our grandchildren will be looking back and taking us, but they are not going to. they are going to ask a question, what are you guys thinking? why didn't you use your considerable talent to solve this? >> thank you, senator fisher, 30
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seconds. >> the climate changes, but it is our reaction to that with policy. good cap and trade is not the policy of this country should be implemented. cap and trade should be a $1,700 tax on american families, and that number comes from the obama administration. >> 30 seconds. >> let's stipulate we are not going to do cap and trade. senator fisher says human beings are not warming the planet, and i say we are. i say it is a compelling problem and we need to address it. we need to have a debate about how we are going to address it and what our strategy is going to be. otherwise, we are going to wonder why we did not do anything about it. >> a question for senator kerry. >> there is a lot of discussion about lowering tax rates by
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limiting deductions on loopholes, but one person's loophole is another person's deduction for mortgage interest or state and local taxes. would you favor eliminating or reducing any of those, or would you offer other specific changes? >> the big four are markets reductions, and i think you can scale it back. i think there is a great pay off through simplification. you have got to believe it. you have to believe simplification can generate more revenue. if it generates more revenue, you cannot do it. i think there is a huge pay off to the economy through simplification, but you are 100% right, and i have experienced this. there are thousands of lobbyists in washington, d.c. he is 100% right. they get paid god knows what to
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try to get congress to protect everyone of these loopholes, and you can make a case. it sounds like you are making a case for the most important thing in the world, but you have got to believe there is going to be of a pay off, and i happen to agree there is. we agree with the need to cut the corporate rate, but you are not going to do that, but doing the right thing for the country is cutting these. >> senator fisher. >> we do need to simplify the tax code. there is bipartisan support to do that. we need to lower the corporate tax rate. now 35% is the highest among our trading partners. i suggested a year ago we lower it to 24%. we need to repeal the tax. here in across the we have done
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5. we need to repeal the alternative minimum tax. that is a tax cut was set up to capture income on wealthier individuals, and instead, we see it is skipping down into the middle class. one in five people in the middle class are paying that tax. yes, we need to close loopholes, and i can tell you there is a consensus to move forward in a bipartisan manner to do that. >> senator kerrey. >> we passed reform that stands for improving the efficiency of that agency and gives them a tremendous amount of power, but remember the cinderella story with a glass slipper? senator fisher has created a glass slipper was a constitutional amendment. that is the glass slipper, and
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all the things she talks about you cannot get in there. the ft is too big. that is the problem. >> i think we were talking about reforming the tax code, and that has not happened. there is bipartisan support for us. with business people all across the state, they welcome that. now they understand the complication. what they want to see is certainty. there is so much risk for businesses, and when you have a tax code that is constantly changing, it is hard to make business decisions. i talked to business people who want to hire new employees, but because of the uncertainty we are facing, they are concerned. >> as we wind down our time together, we are going to move on to a question with colleen williams. the question will be 30 seconds
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long with no rebuttal. >> recently the president called the inability to get the dream act passed his biggest mistake in office. name some specific mistake you have made in office. >> i have mentioned this before. there is a couple out there. one was my first year. time moves fast. sometimes you get filled up on the floor, and as a new senator a bill pass, and i was opposed to it, but it went through the process so quickly, and after that i have always been prepared one of bill is on the agenda. my staff knows we will be prepared, and we know what is going on. my mistake was arriving in 1989 and not recognizing how damage these political caucuses are.
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i wish i had been an advocate of the george norris constitutional amendment. in working with a non partisan congress, it is easier to get things done, so my biggest mistake was not realizing. >> each candidate will have the opportunity for a 90-second closing statement, and we begin with senator kerrey. >> thank you, our country faces enormous challenges at home and abroad, and i am prepared to meet them. i have seen in the military. i have been in the senate intelligence committee. i am capable and willing to lead to national security. i know how to balance the budget. i will fight to change congress. i know i can work with republicans to balance our budget and get our country who
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going in the right direction. i know we can get this done, but it is not going to be easy. you know it is not going to be easy. we are going to have to look at the truth. we are going to have to talk about it. i believe the most important truth is if you want to be remembered by future generations for what we did today, we are going to have to change, and i want to be the person who makes that change happen. nebraska and work hard. we love our families. we love our neighbors. we take care of people who cannot help themselves common and the elderly, men and women who come back from war with terrible experiences, women who need prenatal care and nourishment of mind, body, spirit. we love our world and what to do things that are better for it. it would be of privilege and an honor to be able to serve
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nebraska is one more time, and i asked for your vote. have a toughska's will choice because there are this -- will have an easy choice because there are distinct differences. mr. kerrey voted for and passed the largest tax increase in the history of our country. i do support a balanced budget amendment because i know unless politicians have that, and they will never stop spending. mr. kerrey does not. with health care i believe in a market-based health care system, where government does not come between a patient and their doctor. he supports government health care. i am the only candidate with a jobs plan, the fisher fan. if we are going to turn this
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economy are around, we need to cut spending, but we need to provide opportunities for job growth. we need to let small businesses create jobs by government and reducing regulations, reforming the tax code, reducing energy costs, having free and fair trade. that is how we grow the economy. we have done that in nebraska, and we can do this. americans are exceptional people. we have the resources, and we can meet the challenges before us, and i do believe in the future of this country. i do believe we can do this. i want to help build a better america, so i asked your support and your vote. thank you, and god bless you. >> that brings us to the conclusion of this debate. thank you for participating with us. thanks to our panel of
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journalists, and thanks to our audience and all of you for watching or listening at home. this debate will be available on the web site, and the conversation continues. make a note to watch our voter voices election special. that will be coming up on october 19 at 7:00 p.m. central time. goothank you once again from alf us. do not forget to vote, and good night. >> when nation's sheet in trade, and china has she -- has she did, i will label them a currency manipulator.
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good >> we have been winning those cases. >> wednesday president obama and ms. runnymede in their first presidential debate. watch and engage with our live debate preview at 7:00 p.m. eastern followed with two ways to watch the debate at 9:00. on tuesday, the entire debate common and your reaction, calls, e-mails, and tweets. follow it on c-span and online at c-span.org. >> nit romney's event is a rally at the air and space museum in denver. that will be live in about 15 minutes. in a few minutes, an interview with ross perot.
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in a little more than an hour, tonight's debate between the candidates in massachusetts, scott brown and elizabeth warren. later, a debate for the candidates for senator in nebraska. today's newspaper features a front-page article on ross perot. we travel to the office thursday to report the interview the article is based on. now this is an hour. goo [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> ross perot, i want to know how long has it been since you have been in the public 5. >> i have been in the public five about the national debt and the country and not cause problems -- in the public eye about the national debt and the country's problems. >> has it been too long since somebody like you commanded public attention so you could get the public to understand these sorts of issues? >> i am not in a good position to say that, but we need to clearly describe what has happened and what we need to do to get this under control, and right now everybody is dancing around eight as opposed to facing it. if you have cancer, the first thing you want to do is they said. we have economic cancer at this point -- is faced it. we have economic cancer.
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>> that was the case when you were in your first presidential campaign, and it was still the case when you ran your second. there was progress after that, and a lot of people say because of the campaigns you ran, and we run surpluses for a few years. we fought our way out of this. now it is worse than it was 20 years ago. what do you think went wrong? how did we lose our way compared to the late 90's when we fought our way out of these deficits and the last 12 years when we have gone from 4 trillion dollars in debt to 16 trillion dollars today? >> i am glad you mentioned that number. it is going to cause a huge
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problem. if you have cancer you do not wait until it is over your whole body. get all of these things, really explain the problem, and hopefully we will get people to deal intelligently with the problem. your wife he ran on fiscal responsibility in washington, declining trust in government, in addition to nafta. the truth is we are much worse on all of those issues today than we were in 1992. gooif you look back at 1992, in
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part because of the world ross , they did several things. impose budget controls and taxes when they thought they were responsible. they did the right thing for the country. president bush 43 -- his term is over. whoever the next president is needs to change course, because if we do not, the problems of europe could have here. >> we are going to talk about some of these issues of 9-11 and the war and the health -- in the
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tax cuts of 1998, but let me take you back to 1992. what caused you to leave a public -- of private life, one of them you have passed on, what caused you to jump into presidential politics? parks i believe every generation has worked and sacrificed to leave a better country who their children and grandchildren and future generations. we are spending their money, and we are leaving a message that will be difficult to deal west -- a mess that will be difficult to deal with. the last thing i want to see is our country taken over because
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we are so financially weak. we are moving in that direction. >> you are thinking of countries buying our debt. >> we fought all over the world in world war ii and won. how long have we been in afghanistan? >> 11 years. good >> that is what i thought, and it is just getting worse we have got to wake up and get the right thing done for our country and our future and make sure we leave a stronger country for future generations. >> to you believe in your first campaign but what you did, although you ended up coming in third -- to you believe you had
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an impact in solving our deficits and debt picture, because things improve vastly from 1993 until >> i do not want to take credit for it, but i am pleased there is a breathing period where we are going in the right direction. now we have heard it around and it is going through the roof and is inexcusable. what is interesting is that hardly ever gets discussed, and in the papers, on the media, you would think this is front- page news. it is not. >> absolutely no question that his candidacy caused president clinton to make fiscal responsibility and much higher priority. no question. clinton will tell you that.
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people in his administration will tell you that. he made the difference even though he did not win. the polls will also tell you in july he was leading. in addition, the exit polls will tell you that the people who voted, if they thought they could have won, they would have voted for him and he would have won. much worse today than we were then, and people know it. >> do you think we're much worse today because he was not elected? >> we have lost our way. >> that is history. we're on the edge of the cliff, and we have got to start fixing it now. otherwise we are leaving a disaster to our children and grandchildren and we could even lose our country. if we do not get fixed -- and nobody is talking about what we have to do and why we have to do
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it. they would prefer not to have it discussed. >> what is happening is we're still coming out of recession, so both candidates, and as president for four years, are using the necessity to dig out from recession before they get to austerity. you could argue that in europe they have tried austerity before the ink out of recession, and that did not do so much good in europe. >> if i told you i do not want to dig out a bite that problem until i go broke, you could say, what are you talking about? that is what you said. you're not on to pay your debt if he did not have the money. if things are going downhill and you are running toward that up, you'd make it next to impossible to paint your debt.
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we need to put on the brakes now. it can be done if we and the house and senate and white house have the will. they should have the full support of the american people to get it done. >> you cannot dig out of a whole, and that is what they are doing. you have to climb out of a whole. in reality we face two problems. we have short-term economic challenges because we have very weak economic growth. we have high unemployment, higher underemployment, and the numbers are higher than the government tells you. we need to do something about it. it has to be coupled with a clear, credible, concrete, and enforceable plan to deal with the structural deficit lying ahead. you need to do both. that is the only thing that makes any sense.
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it is the only thing that makes sense from the standpoint of politics. >> you spoke in 1992 about the campaign, your plan sounded then a lot like some of these bowls simpson's balanced-type plants that are coming out now. you did some of everything. you did not leave out sacred cows. the one that higher taxes, higher gasoline taxes, you wanted the wealthy to pay more weather in higher taxes or not taking entitlements. do you find that willingness to day on the part of candidates to hit all the sacred cows? >> i do not see anybody doing it, do you? if somebody is doing it, i am missing it. i thought they would hope this go away and they could run on all these things when you are talking on the television. >> would it take candidate saying you'd need to do all those things, not just going
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after entitlements cut domestic spending, defense, but also to raise taxes? you need to do all those things, do you feel? >> we need to do whatever it takes to solve this problem, and that probably takes all of these things. overall, you have to deal with this whole problem, and is once you have cancer, just living in denial, which is the best way to describe how we are living now, it gets worse, and that is happening every day. if you look at these charts that we have distributed over the country, and people going from city to city, talking directly, and i can hear in my home town they will be talking in the next few days, directly to the people, and we need to get the american people alive and alert, because the typical person running for office is gone to do what ever it takes to get their vote. i do not think he has any sense at all that they want this
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fixed. if we have that at the grass- roots level, he would have these people with different personalities, being reborn, and they would be out on the campaign trail. >> both parties are responsible for our current problems. >> yes. >> governments have lost control of budget, and has waited too long to restructure, but it is not too late. the american people are smarter than most politicians realize. they know we are in trouble. they're willing to accept tough choices as long as they want it to be part of a comprehensive plan that they deemed to be fair. overwhelming support for comprehensive reforms in a range of areas where everything
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is on the table, minimum support, 76%, up to 100%, based on six key principles that it virtually unanimous support. the president is the chief executive officer of the united states. whoever the next president is, they need to demonstrate extraordinary presidential leadership. they need to use the power of the presidency to go to the american people, as ross perot did in 1992, to build a case that we are on a burning platform, to help them understand that everything has to be on the table, to provide principles and a framework for action, and to call the first three words of the constitution "we the people" to work with the president to solve the problem, because if you do not keep the economy strong, everything will suffer over time -- job
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opportunities, domestic tranquility. >> did you feel in 1992 and 1996, that we can get out of our deficits, and we ran four years of surpluses, prior to 9/11 and other things that happened in the last decade. did you think we had solved our problems? >> no, we were just lucky where weaver going through a good time. now we are any time of bad luck. i would really impressed if our president would take this issue right now and explain to the american people what he is going to do, because obviously his opponents would have to get busy, too, right? right now is like one of these things. you do not want to talk about it.
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>> one of the things i remember about my testimony is when i was comptroller general, was in 2001, when we had a surplus, it was burning a hole in congress' pocket, and they had 16,000 ways to spend the money, either directly or through tax rebates, and i reminded them that the surpluses that were projected by the congressional budget office was just that. they were projections. they may or may not occur. we had $20 trillion worth of liabilities and unfunded obligations that were not been accounted for. we had known demographic trends that were going to bring us back to that in the future. today that $20 trillion is $70 trillion and growing by $10
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million a minute. thinks happened totally out of control, especially since 2003. >> let's talk about a couple solutions out there. what has gotten worse of the last 20 years is this issue of tax expenditures, tax breaks, for your more courage, for your employer-paid health insurance. i think that the bowles-6 in commission said it was a $1 trillion problem. give us ideas as to what is doable there, because the big tax breaks are those that millions of americans rely on. can those be reduced substantially? >> i do not know. i am not smart enough to know. if i were, i would tell you.
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>> i mean politically. if you were in office today -- >> would you say don't charge as much as you are charging today? >> we are taking this issue head on, and what we are saying is broaden the tax base so eliminate deductions, exclusions, credits come on the individual and corporate sides, lower the top marginal rate, and i will give you four examples of preferences that would be eliminated or change. one, phase out the individual income tax exclusion for health care. it ought to be taxed as compensation. we need to phase it out.
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secondly, charitable contributions. full deduction for charitable contributions because government has grown too big, waited too long to restructure. the charitable sector will become more important. mortgage interest deduction, two houses or one, one house is a need. one home, deduct maximal interest. thirdly, have some type of reasonable limits for retirement savings, but have tougher controls that locked up the money for that, disability, and retirement. those get overwhelming support. by the boy, if you can end up reducing the top marginal tax rate, down to 25%, you can eliminate the difference between capital gains and ordinary income without having adverse effects on the economy.
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that will increase the effective tax rate of people who are well off at the same point in time making it a simpler system. right now we have 46.4% of americans who do not pay any income tax at all. the poverty rate is 15.9%. i do not know what the right number is for people who should not have to pay income tax, but the income taxes from all the constitutional roles of the federal government -- you cannot have 46% getting a free ride, and the people understand that and support that change as well. let's debate what that number is. it is lower than 46%, but we need to have a progressive system. >> one of the things that has changed since 1992 is baby boomers were moving toward their retirement. now they are into it. we have the baby-boom
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generation, when birthrates are at their high estimates are in their mid 60's, started taking social security a few years ago at 62. now they are starting to take medicare. what does that mean to you in general, that we will go through 20 or 30 years of those people moving through the years of their lives when they are entitled to social security, medicare, and other things? what does that mean in terms of your grandchildren's generation? >> we need to start correcting all of that now and not let it continue. it may occur for a while the matter but i do, but the sooner we start correcting it, the sooner we get that out of the way. we do not do anything. the point is we are in denial. we need to get out of denial and focus on what we need to do and do it and keep the american people fully informed every step of the way so they know why we did this and what we did that
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and so on and so forth. but them feel they know they are directly involved, because we're trying to get their money. >> it is a matter of public education, and that is where groups like dave's and other organizations that are trying to beat the drums to get americans to understand what is going on, is that what you feel is most important, educational? >> the first thing, in our country, if i had three wishes -- a strong, moral, ethical base. i had that growing up in the depression. a strong family unit in every home. now the divorce rate is over 50%, right? that is destabilizing. when i grew up in the depression of all times, we had the finest
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public schools in the world and the one thing a democracy must have is a well-educated population. our public schools are at the bottom of the industrialized world. that is the country. the great state of texas, where i went to schools and had an incredible education, is either 47 or 40 night in the 50 states. that is all our responsibility and we can correct that, but with these problems we face now, that is so fundamental about what we must do now, and we cannot pass that off to a house or senate or the state or the federal government. we have to do a lot of that by being involved. >> if you look at our fiscal issues, and if you look at the dimensions of it, it is not just economic. we are mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren at record rates, while we are reducing investment in their future at the time that they are going to face and a lot tougher
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competition in an increasingly interdependent world. that is irresponsible, and ethical, immoral, and it must stop. at the same point in time, how you solve this problem involves important economic, ethical, and moral questions as well. we have to recognize that reality. the clock is ticking. the fuse has been lit. time is not working in our favor, and we better start making progress, and we better get a good fiscal bargained in 2013 or what that is happening in europe can happen here. >> let me give you an example. go to our most elite engineering schools. at one time we had more talented engineers than anybody else. we were discovering everything in the world, producing it here. now that has all turned around. it is getting worse by the day. 78% of the people getting ph.d.'s from elite engineering schools either come from china or india, ok?
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now, 20% come from all over the world. i am up to 98%. that means 2% of the people getting ph.d.'s are coming from the united states, in our most complete engineering schools. that is a recipe for disaster. we do not ever talk about it. we're just letting the thing unraveled. what about best new engineering schools, which you will be hearing about in a few days, in dallas, and they have a great school, but guess what -- i asked them onetime how many people they have from china, and this university right here, 2000, added to the top. >> this is an example of how we need to modernize our immigration policy and how we need to change education policy
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alice well. immigration policy is based on family relationships. it is not based on economic considerations, skills and knowledge. while we need to revitalize education for americans, we need to recognize the extent to which people are coming to america to learn we need to do what we need to do to keep them in america. >> this is our core problem. there trillions of connections in the brain called neurons. they start down at age 6 when they start public school. kids at a school soared like eagles, got college scholarships, they got wired. when you know this and you do not talk about it and do not do anything about it, this is another recipe for disaster. our public education system is just really got to be strained out. the teachers' unions are
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primarily concerned about how much they make a year, and that is not where the concern has to be. it is making sure that children have the funds in education that are needed for education. >> we spend double per person to educate k through 12, double other nations. we do the same thing in health care. we get below-average results. when you get below-average results, the answer is not to throw more money at the system. it is to read engineer the system. during more money at a system that is getting those kinds of results is called in sanity. >> it is all about politics. the teachers' unions give money to the guide that is going to take care of them. are you with me? when you look at the chinese
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and see how bright they are, and they have a huge population, 1.2 billion. that is a giant population. we have 310 million. the sheer size of their population, it is interesting they are getting the best- educated people because of a number of symbols you have to learn about all these other things, and we know what we have to do. we just do not do it. my advice would be, if i have an opportunity, let's quit talking about it and just do it. >> you had said when you were comptroller general tried to
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call attention to this problem, the problem of running deficits and accumulating greater debt, that the country had a budget deficit, a trade deficit, a balance of payments deficit, and the fourth one you brought up was a leadership deficit. >> leadership is the greatest. >> can i ask you both, describe what is the problem with what appears to be in your mind a leadership deficit, that we're not getting the leadership on this key issue either from this president or past presidents, this congress or pass congresses/ what does it take to get elected officials to tackle at an issue, increasing their taxes? >> let's start with the families. they will get their attention. the voters have to understand all this, which they did not,
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and voters need to understand what we have to do to get all this corrected, and they do not. if we ever get that over to the voters, they will vote for the people who are geared up, ready, and know how to do it and are running on that basis, and then we can change this country forever and get us back to where we used to be when i was a boy in the depression. why schoolteachers and would have been doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs today. with luck they were making $200 a month, but they were talented, they brought out the best in all of us. they were by example really fine people, and with the highest qualities. all that got transmitted to the children at class a even if they were not getting it at home. >> when you were running you were talking about increasing not necessarily dollars per capita, but investing in
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education, communications, and transportation. even while trying to reduce deficits and debt, you were talking about the need for certain targeted investments. do you feel that is still true today? >> all you have to do is to look at it and see that it is true today. as long as that goes on, kids are lost. >> we need short-term investments, but they need to be properly designed and the effect of the implemented. recent ones have not banned, but they have to be coupled with the concrete and forcible plan to deal with such structural to facets. we need policy reforms, operational reforms, and we need political reforms. on the political side, our country today is dominated by special interests, by the duopoly of political policies, and toward politicians who may or may not have had a real job in their lives, but once elected, they want to keep it.
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congress works three days a week, and it does not work that many days any year. it does not get paid for performance. if it did, it would owe us money. we need to have redistricting reform, integrated and open primaries, campaign finance reform, and we need to have term limits, 12- to 18-year term limits. the fuse has been lit. what we need is two things -- extraordinary leadership from the president of the united states, whoever that is. we need these debates to be more specific, substantive, on these issues so the people can make an informed judgment about who to support and so that whoever wins will have a mandate to act,
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and then they need to lead. the president is not just the commander in chief. the chief executive officer of united states. this country is in terrible condition and we are losing ground every day. >> they are not doing anything. >> dave mentioned duopoly. established a third party, united we stand and the reform party. do you feel that is needed today, that there is something wrong with that two-party system which has gotten more acrimonious, each party back on their 10-yard line? >> any way that can be done, it is almost impossible to do it. it would be a very healthy thing if you could get it done and make it happen, but it is very difficult to do and very few people would want to try to put it there, because they know they are going to be butchered from day one. much of the media will
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participate actively in that. you have to talk about the politicians. the media has strong views. >> it is hard to get somebody like dave walker willing to put their name out there and run in 50 states and withstand the media scrutiny and the like? >> if you ran for either party, it would be all right. if he created a new party, that would be very difficult. i can promise you, because have a huge number of special interests hammering away. >> also, when you did it, you put tens of billions of dollars of your own money into it. today it would take hundreds of millions of dollars of your own money.
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i wonder whether anyone -- do you think if you were a 62- year-old man today, could you replicate in today's politics with unlimited spending by corporations and unions, could you replicate what you did then at the dollar level? >> if you got the dollars, but you could not get the open- minded look at what you are doing as opposed to everybody at attacking the fact that you are even trying. that is the way things have been, the way things are, and how can you change that? i do not know. if i knew, i of would certainly tell you. >> finance reform. >> we have got to get a clean up. >> there is nothing to prevent the congress and the president today from passing a law that
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would require full and timely disclosure of contributions to these superpacs and others. the supreme court scission did not do that. they are working for themselves and their party. what we need is campaign finance reform. i will give you a simple principle, that the people who can contribute directly or indirectly are people who can vote. news flash -- corporations and unions cannot vote. it is a simple principle, one of the ones we are exposing to the public, and they overwhelmingly endorsed it. most of these areas -- it is very common sense. that is what the american people respond to. that is not how our politicians treat us. that is part of the problem. >> don't you think it is interesting in all of these really tough times, we have talked all about these big numbers, that the house, the sense, and the white house did not reduce their salaries? think about it. >> do you think they should?
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>> if you were in business, you would have to. they need to set the first example of making the cut back for themselves. >> leading by example. >> exactly. >> it is a fundamental principle, especially in business. we need more of that. >> how close do you think we are to a crisis? people say the deficit and debt issue will get resolved when they have to resolve a, not when they should resolve it. do you think we're close to a market crisis? to bond buyers of not investing in the united states' debt -- will that happen one of these years? >> of course. it is as common sense. we're not talking about politicians, where talking about people taking money out of their pocket at one time, considering it was the safest investment could make, a treasury bill, right? and now i have every reason to be concerned whether it will last or how long.
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>> we are living in a dream world right now. there is no such thing as an entitlement. the supreme court said there are two things that under the constitution, are guaranteed. number one, military pensions, and, number two, bond holders of u.s. debt. the u.s. will not default on its sovereign debt, but there is a huge interest rate risk, and if you are a foreign investor, there's a huge currency risk in investing in. all the new debt in the last
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two years has been purchased by the federal reserve, up 70% of that, we are self-dealing in our and debt. we did not have market rates. we have artificially low rates. china, japan, opec nations, because they have positive trade values, but if they buy a 30-year bond? no, they are buying short term, because we have historically low interest rates, the lowest maturity in history, and when the interest rates go up, for everyone% increase, it is $160 billion a year in new spending for which we get shinola -- nothing. and now up to 5% below average interest rates. >> isn't it interesting that not more people talk about it on television, and the candidate do not spend much time talking about this. it is just like being in denial. >> we did not go through the decade of george w. bush and the last four years of rock obama, but what they have had to deal with, in fairness, is 9/11, a couple of wars that require a lot of spending, the tax cuts of george bush -- i am not sure where you stood on those, but they did eat into the amount of money we had to spend -- and
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then the recession, which was some say close to a depression. did that time prevent us from being able to make deficits and debt a top priority? >> it should not have. it could have, but it should not have come out if people were thinking clearly, if they were well educated, if they even understood this whole damn thing, which they do not.
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if you say what percentage of the american people understand this, i would say it is a very low number. it to be everybody, and everybody should say this is my country. people should be very active about not letting anything damaged our country. the one thing we have not mentioned at all, there is no question at all in my mind, if we keep going this way, some nation is going to head over here to take us. if they did, they have picked the right time, right? i wish every american with the about that, all day, every day, saying we cannot let that happen. we have the greatest country, we have got to get it back there, and we need to keep it there and make it better, not worse. that should be our goal. every year we should look back and say things have gotten a
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lot better, even after our ideal. we want to still make it better. >> used a word that is commonly used, that the same problem. it is called war. we have not declared war since world war ii. we are not following the constitution of the united states. in 2003, things really spun out of control fiscally. three things happened. they were irresponsible individual, collectively they were reprehensible. the second round of tax cuts. secondly, invaded a sovereign nation without declaring war and without paying for it, called iraq. thirdly, medicare prescription drugs was expanded, added $8
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trillion in new unfunded sees when medicare was already underfunded $20 trillion. since then we have stimulus programs that are not properly designed and the effectively implemented. we passed for will care act to cover 30 million more people. government today is 24% of the economy, 12 times bigger than 100 years ago, and it is headed to 37% on autopilot. these people live in a dream world. >> let me read you two quotes. democrats and republicans blame each other. nobody steps up to the plate and accept responsibility for anything. this city, washington, d.c., we're giving a national press club speech from this city has become a town of media stunt man who posture, creek images, talk, she got off roman candles, but do not accomplish anything. i am wondering if you think you could utter them today in 2012 and they would make just as much sense? has anything improved in the dealings of republicans,
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democrats, white house, congress -- >> we still have the same problems. that is why everything is going downhill, and that is what we have to correct it. like a guy drinking, sooner or later he has got to put a cork in the bottle. he is in denial. it is not that serious, it is not that serious. you have to have the will to do it, and i have said if you had the will as a nation, not congress, not the ordinary -- if the ordinary citizen had
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that will and could not be jerked around the way we try to manipulate him, we would get this all straightened out. >> there is no question that we are worse today than we were in 1992. washington has total gridlock. the american people are not disheartened. they are disgusted. they are disgusted with that lack of progress on a long list of growing problems, energy problems, environmental problems. our health-care system, our tax system. our regulatory policies. washington has taken another five-week vacation. it took a five-week vacation in august, worked two weeks, taking another five-week vacation. if these people did a better job, they would not have to take some much time off to campaign,
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raising money, because if they did a good job, people will reward you. when you do not do a good job, you have to spend a lot more time doing that. >> do you think we would be better off with a parliamentary system, where one party to control things for a time, and we did not have to deal with a republican house, a senate of democrats, so we are always at this gridlock? we kind of let the supreme court make the decision because the politicians cannot do it. >> we need to work at bath, but i have no idea how, because as you know, that is the way it is. it is human nature to maintain the status quo until the things get terrible. then people get flexible. that is the worst time to solve the problem. the best time to solve a problem is when your temperature goes up when the great. he did not wait until it has gone up 20 degrees and realized i have something we cannot fix.
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that is the same problem in our country. we keep putting it off. the media is participating in this, not trying to discipline it in any way, because it is all news, not good news, but they keep people they're sitting the television. that is not enough. what we do, and i would again one more time say if we do not get the strain that, somebody will take us, and that is the last thing any of us want, and i will keep saying that until, hopefully the nation or somebody say we will not let that happen. >> on the parliamentarian system, that would take a constitutional change. the party that controls the parliament also controls government, and then you have more of an ability to get things done. but you also have fewer checks and balances.
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other countries basis in problems we're talking about in the 1990's. they happen to be parliamentarians systems, but you have to have public education and engagement, extraordinary leadership from the president, and you have to have the first three words of the constitution come alive -- "we the people" -- to work with the president, the house, and the senate, to take control. if they do not, throw them out. >> we have had some times since 1992 when we had an uprising. some people give you credit for the republican revolution of 1994, because it was the republicans under newt gingrich who adopted a lot of your tactics and positions. then it was recently we had tea party movement. that was a movement within a political party. do you think it takes that kind of a movement? i am wondering what your thoughts were when the tea party revolution rose up in 2009?
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>> interesting to see that happen. i was surprised. it has had an interesting impact, don't you think? >> yes, interesting. >> not the solution, but it was a healthy thing to happen. >> that shows that average americans are -- >> it wakes up a lot of american citizens. >> my personal view is that he party and the occupy movement had a lot in common. because they are both concerned with a lack of integrity and accountability. in the case of the tea party, they are concerned with the lack of accountability in government. in the case of occupy, it's wall street, and guess what -- they are both right.
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>> he summed it up beautifully. >> when you were running, it was a matter of people getting to call into an 800-number. now we're into this world of social media, where you can tweet something out in a matter of seconds. do you think that would make a third-party iran or any kind of a people's movement easier today than it was 20 years ago when you had to rely on people calling in to a phone number? do you think the computer revolution, which you have been involved since the start, and in particular at the social media
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revolution of the last several years, should create a situation where you are on twitter, where you can mobilize people more easily? >> sure. >> shouldn't that make the type of solution you are talking about, people demanding change, similar to have? >> that is what we need, and i think that is a good way to do it. >> the problem would be they have the tools today to instantly to mobilize. you are saying they do not have the education to know in which direction to go? they're not being educated about the degree of the problem in terms of how deeply into annual
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deficits and debt we are? >> absolutely no question that social networking, facebook, twitter, provide an opportunity to reach a lot more people a lot quicker than was in the case in 1992. >> i know you are writing a book. your autobiography coming out in a few months. why now? >> people wanted me to do it, so i agreed, and people -- and it will be coming out shortly. it is all about these things we have talked about today, as well as other things. i hope it will be useful for the people to get informed and understand that we the people own this country, and we the people have any responsibility
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to get these things straightened out. and leave our children and grandchildren a much better nation rather than just letting it fall apart. it also helps to have the best public schools in the world, which we did not have any more. it will take a while paired right now, it is important to try to make sure we get all of our people actively involved in understanding these problems. included in the book is an updated set of charts that show all of the fiscal problems of our country. you get that free with a book. they fit into the book. >> why don't you show them that beautiful cover? >> i do not know where it is. >> i can grab it right here. >> this is the book coming out, and it will be coming out here
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pretty soon, but i hope it will be useful to the american people to understand how important they are to the future of this country, and we the people can determine who are leaders are, and we the people must select the right leaders. once we have them in office, keep in close contact with them, so they do not wandering around to special interests. >> you have had a remarkable life, and you have been involved not only in your businesses, but in terms of being p.o.w.'s back from overseas, your involvement in public education. since we're focusing in this he interviewed on their presidential campaigns and the issues of deficit and debt, where do you make that portion of your life in terms of your legacy, in terms of your achievement? how do you look at that time when you decided annual deficits and accumulated debt or important enough you would put your name out there and run in all 50 states?
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>> i did not get done what i wanted to do. that has not happened yet, and this is my last big effort here. this will cover it again. >> do you agree, dave, that you think he is being too humble? >> he is being very modest. he is the biggest philanthropist in the united states that people did not know about because he does most things anonymously. he is a perfect example of when he ran in 1992, he was running to make a difference. he put his own money out there, he made the difference, because the issue of fiscal responsibility became a top priority to the clinton administration. they took a number of steps to restore fiscal sanity.
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we had four years of unified surpluses, but we have lost our way since then. it started in 2003. that is when i spoke out at the national press club, and if has only gotten worse since. he is reiterating with his book, with new updated charts, and we are trying to help make sure the public has the facts, and can be involved in solving this problem. >> they are the key to the solution, because they are the voters. >> do you plan to be out there frequently, in terms of your involvement with the comeback america initiative, but also when the book comes out, will you take a full book tour?
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>> i do not have anything planned. we will have to plan something for the book. >> you are not reticent to get out there? a couple times to they use it for somebody to take on the talents that you took on, they would have to have thick skin, and you talk about how other politicians and the media will come after somebody like that. you have receded from public view in recent years. >> i will do what ever i have to. >> ross perot has dedicated to the mission. it is about the mission, not about him. it is about the country. it is about his kids, and is about his grandkids and future generations. that is what it is about. >> i want them to have the opportunities i had to. i was covered up with parents who loved me, but i felt i was rich because of them. i then went on and had the great opportunities and got into
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the naval academy. that was a great experience in learning leadership at the finest level and getting to practice it for 8 years in the navy. i was lucky to get in the computer business, and i had all these ideas that ibm was not interested in, and i started my own company. it all worked out, because people bought computers but could not use them. they could not make the software. we would sell the whole thing, a completely finished package, hardware, software, and that went on all over the world, and sold that off to general motors of all places. then started a new company and that was barry successful also. it is now -- and that was a very successful also.
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>> it is now part of dell. >> the presidential campaign, when you look back, you could say why i did what i did in terms of my public education, man military service. whatever made me decide for run for president? >> those other things were more rational. that was something we stuck with. it is human nature. people vote, and if you do not have a well-educated population, it is less rational. if we could ever get back to a block-educated population, people would do a much better job at the ballot box. >> do you think if we had a perot administration, things would be different today in terms of our fiscal picture? >> i would have made every effort. i would have had to deal with
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the two parties day in and day out, but in that job i could have gone directly to the american people for their support. once you actually had that, you would probably get them to agree to anything, including a bad idea. i would not want to have done, but it is really important. someone asked huey long if he stood for anything, and he looked and said as a young man, i stand for reelection. >> the answer to that question is yes, because he would not just have focused on the short term. he would have also focused on the structural problem. our problem is not the current deficits and debt, although they are shockingly high. the problem is what is not on the balance sheet that is many times greater.
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that is the real problem. you have to solve that problem as well. in addition, ross perot has an incredible ability to communicate, and no hesitancy to go directly to the american people with these issues. coming back to what we talked about before, that is what we need from our president. we have to rally the public around the fact we have no choice but to make these tough choices. we are going to solve these problems. the issue -- where we saw that prudently and preemptively, or we will wait until the market forces us to do, which will be a global depression, much higher unemployment, draconian spending reductions and tax increases. >> and then the risk of another nation taking us over. that should be in everybody's part of their brain.
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>> i sense you are an equal- opportunity critical of both parties, in congress, and both gentlemen running for president. is that the case? are you aligning result one way or the other? >> the way it operates now is not going to be successful. >> to be clear, you were saying you're not supportive of how much effort the president or mitt romney have put into this so far? you are saying you're not a fan of either one's missions? >> it is more than just that. it is their teens who work with them. they have not come up with something that works. >> neither candidate right now has a comprehensive plan that meets the six principles we're talking about with the public.
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in the case of the president, he does not have a plan because his plan is his budget, but his budget which rejected unanimously by the senate and house, so he has to start over again. in the case of romney, he has a plan, he has not provided any specifics, and specifics he has provided, the numbers do not add up. that is what it is important but of them to be more specific, more substantive, most solutions oriented in the debates so we can make an informed choice about who to support, so they can claim they have a mandate, and they can use the bully pulpit to go to the people to talk about what we have been talking about and that people can then be involved to help get us a fiscal board and next year. it is critically important. >> will you be watching these debates? >> oh, yeah, i'll watch them.
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>> what do you think about when you see these debates that have happened since then? >> well, not much. just maneuvering back and forth. >> not as colorful. >> will we see a third-party candidacy, a new ross perot on the horizon in 2016 to take something like that? >> i am to all to do it now. >> you have sons and daughters and grandchildren. >> i am too old to do it. >> will somebody -- do you think it would help someone else ran that type of campaign? >> if we get the right person, but they will do everything they can to butchered them. the media is pretty cooperative
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with that, too. >> thank you. i appreciate you talking to us. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> when nations cheat in trade, and china has cheated, i will do something that the president has not been able to do, which is confront them for it. >> we brought more cases against china in one term than the previous administration did in two. and we have been winning those cases. >> thursday, president obama and mitt romney meet in their first debate. watch and engage with c-span, followed by two ways to watch the debate at 9:00. on c-span, both candidates on screen, the entire debate. following, your reactions,
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calls, and tweets. follow our live coverage online. >> see the first presidential debate thursday night. watch and engage. in a few moments, a debate between the senate -- the candidates for senate in massachusetts, scott brown and elizabeth warren. in about one hour, a debate between the candidates for senate in nebraska. after that, we will re-air the interview with former presidential candidate ross perot. several live events to tell you about tomorrow. here on c-span, the new america foundation hosts a discussion on the role of money in the campaign. that is at 12:15 p.m. eastern. just before that, the urban
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institute looks at what hap -- at what may happen to individual taxes if congress does not address the fiscal cliff. later, arne duncan speaks with the national press club on the state of education. >> i have all the channels. house, senate, author, book reviews, those types of things. if i knew a bill was coming up on the floor in the house, i watched which channel i want to see, because i have them all. if there is a speech i know you have covered or a book review, i am going to watch that. when i want to find out something, that is going to be one of the first places i look.
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i am obviously a public broadcasting fan. i watch those channels. out of a couple hundred channels, i probably have 5-10 that i am going to go to. it is going to include all of the c-span channels. >> he watches c-span on directv,. created in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> more campaign 2012 coverage with the senate debate between scott brown and a democratic challenger, elizabeth warren. it is their second of four televised debates. this one-hour debate is moderated by david gregory.
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>> moderator of meet the press and welcome to the center of massachusetts co-sponsored by the university and the boston herald. i am joined by the two candidates, miss elizabeth warren and a senator scott brown. welcome to both of you. a thank you for being here. just a note about the rules, basically there are none. no set time limits. what i hope is a healthy discussion of the important issues facing this country and in this race. i can't been -- i champion the to a few -- the two of you. i would like to begin where it seems this campaign has been, in the area of the personal. some personal friction and issues between the two of you. ms. warren, i want to start with questions about your native american heritage. there seems to be a lot of questions about this. i want to see if we can clear these things up.
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you have listed yourself as a minority in a faculty directory in 1986. you continue to miss -- to list yourself in that directory until 1995. do you consider such a minority? and if not, is there any other reason for some kind of benefit that you list yourself in such a directory? >> i have answered this question many, many times. it starts the fact from the dow was born until the day my mother died, if she told me -- it starts at the fact of from the day i was born until the dimon mother died, she told me who we are and my family. i have never used the information about our native american heritage to get any advantage. not to apply to college, not to apply to law school, and not to get hired for any job. i was -- i listed myself as native american. i was listed there. it is part of why am.
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>> you consider yourself a minority? >> i consider myself as having a native american background. >> senator brown, you have a web site created by your campaign that says we are getting to know the real as a bit of warren. if it allows people to check whether she is a hypocrite or a fake indian. who is the real elizabeth warren? is she a liar? is that your judgment? >> you'd have to ask her who she actually is. i think we need to reflect back and talk about this campaign is really about, which is obviously the jobs in the economy. part of this race is also integrity and character. if you look back and see what we are talking about here, no one is questioning what her parents told her when she was younger or through that timeframe. when she was asked by "the boston herald" why she was being towed to as a native american, she said she did not know.
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and then after misleading the papers, she said that she self- reported. she never answered why she said that. she has also said that as time goes on, i cannot change of who i am. that is the nature of her commercials. but as with noticed -- as we noticed throughout life, she was white. then she changed her nationality to native american. as she was being considered for recruitment as a result of that director, she was being recruited to ivy league schools. at the pinnacle for success when she became tenured at harvard, she was changed back to being white. when she says she cannot change who she is, she did it twice. >> if you have any evidence, at all, senator, if to suggest that ms. warren benefited or was hired because she was a native american minority? >> the real issue is what is she telling the people.
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>> that was a direct question. if you suggested that she is being dishonest. i want to know if -- >> the best way to answer that is for her to release her personnel records. i released 32 years of my military records. i think the fact that she has not least those records of speaks volumes. >> are you hiding something? >> no, i am not. the questions about character, i answer the questions about how i was born and what i learned growing up. i never use it for college, law school, or to get a job. others have backed me up. the boston globe interviewed two dozen people on this. they said in print that he voted for scott brown. it would not know about it until years later. i want to say something about character, since that is the issue. i think character is how you live your life. and the daughter of a janitor
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who ended up as a professor at harvard law school and working for the president of united states, i am proud of the two children i have raised and the husband i have had for 32 years and by three grandchildren. i have taught school. i have taught a generation of students. hello, occasionally, inspired a few of them. i have -- but i hope, occasionally, inspired a few of them. >> have you model this issue in the campaign? >> i wish i had been faster in answering the question. but the truth is the truth. i believe my mother. i cannot imagine what kind of test of character would be to say that my mother lied to me from the day i was born until the day she died. >> senator, is this disqualifying? >> no, of course not.
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there is no question she is a qualified academic and a good teacher. >> do you doubt in any way her credentials as a scholar that would have led her to be hired? >> no. but i do question the fact that she misled the voters off for over five weeks, saying that she had no idea how harvard came to know that she was a native american. she, in fact, self-reported. no one is questioning what our parents tell us as we are growing up. as you grow older, you have an affirmative obligation when you are making a disclosure, such as that, when you're taking something that is really meant for somebody who has been truly disadvantaged by years of discrimination, i think it is something you really need to double check on. >> on this point that senator brown is now raising, it is wrong. i misheard a question at a very noisy press conference. i came back and answer it when i understood it.
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and that is it. to try to turn this into something bigger is just wrong. >> let me ask you, senator brown, because a question of your own credibility has been raised. you talked about having secret meetings with kings and queens and crime ministers. your campaign said he misspoke, but this is something you said on multiple occasions. are you guilty of exaggeration here? >> no. i was trying to make a point that we're talking about the economic issues in other countries, and you have met a lot of the same people i have met. they talk about jobs and the economy and the fact that the number one thing we need to focus on is jobs in the economy. i never met the poorest performer, either. it is about presenting -- the poorest farmer, either. let me talk about mistakes. i have made mistakes.
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before i got elected, i said my daughters are available on national tv. that was a pretty big mistake. i am still paying for that one. the difference between i make a mistake, i corrected. i immediately corrected. professor warren, when she made a mistake and misled the voters of massachusetts, it is not that she did not hear the question. this went on for five weeks of the media asking her specifically how they came to know that she was a native american. >> he always ask you professor warren. you think he is trying to cast you as an elitist professor in the eyes of the voters? does that bother you? >> it does not bother me. i worked very hard for this and it does not bother me. >> the boston globe reported she is proud of being a professor. whenever i see my professors from school, i say hello professor so-and-so. she has earned the title. she is a sitting professor.
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>> you have both earned work as attorneys. you have talked about clients who have represented. you have released a list of those clients that have come on. senator brown, to my knowledge, you did not. >> i resisted about a week ago. in a real estate attorney representing small banks. >> as far as i'm aware, in terms of the lawyers that i know, and i know quite a few, legal work entails becoming an advocate for clients, not necessarily an advocate for a particular policy position. is there a reason you should doubt the other base and declines you represented? >> let's start with that disclosure part spirit i have not seen a list of senator brown's clients.
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all i know is that senator brown said at a conference last week that somehow over the last 25 years will he has been out there working in the public interest and representing people here in massachusetts that he also is representing banks and mortgage companies. but i have not seen a list of those clients and i did not realize it had been made public. is that right? there's a public list of all the clients that sender brown had and the work he did? >> professor, with all due respect, the only person is required to provide a list is you when you got to provided on a yearly basis to harvard. when asked there is a list, you said, no, there is no list. she is apparently released it tonight. i made it very clear last week. if people know that i'm a real estate attorney. there is an office in my home. i represent a few small banks. i want to talk about clients. it is important. you ask if it is important. it is. the routine that professor warren has been saying throughout this campaign, she is out there representing the little guy. she is out there representing the workers. there is a company that she represented in an effort to deny union workers there benefits. she got paid a five figure salary. she was on the side when no one
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was watching. she chose to side with the steel conglomerate. she got it almost one-quarter of a million dollars to represent a large insurance company, one of the largest in our country. she will say she was setting up a trust. there is no way a travelers insurance is going to set up a trust and work for the victims when, in fact, they are paying her as a hired gun. >> have you released what exactly you did for those clients? >> i already said it publicly. i do not know how much more public i have to get. in the real estate attorney.
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i do closing. i also work with the army. >> here is my follow-up question. do you believe that, as an advocate, as an attorney, she was actually adopting the positions as she took four or was she making an argument on behalf of a klein, just as you would do as an attorney. there is a distinction. >> that is a great question. when the lights are not on and the media is not looking, you have a choice. she had the choice to take this client. she got paid almost one quarter of a million. >> you're not suggesting lawyers agree with every client they take on. is that fair? >> in this particular instance -- >> it is a pointed question. >> i think attorneys have a choice. they can deny them. >> ms. warren, your response, please.
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>> how to start with what senator brown is trying to do here. he just keeps making charges. he just keeps making charges. let's start with the question about the cases that he says i have represented. i am a teacher. i have been out there as a consumer advocate. i've been writing books. i have been working in a field. from time to time have taken on a client. i have done it because there was an important legal issue at stake. for me, it was about protecting individuals. was about protecting employees. it was about protecting homeowners. it was about making sure people did not get run over by banks and the system really continue to work for them. that is what i did. i have done it through -- i did it with senator kennedy for 15
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years. i wrote the books and i even went to the united states supreme court. for senator brown to say that my work hurts asbestos victims is just simply not only not true, it is in exactly the wrong direction. i have been working for asbestos victims of for years. including going to the nine state supreme court to try to protect a half a billion dollar judgment for them and to try to make sure there is a system set up so that people who have asbestos-related diseases, which continue to show up year after year gets in someone's body, they do not know for sure whether they have it or not, until sometimes years later -- a way for those people to be compensated. the asbestos victims have stood up and said, senator brown is wrong. and he has crossed a line. these are the people whose fathers have died, whose uncle is have died, whose cousins have died, and the day are the ones who are being attacked by senator brown now. >> as a consumer activist, was it a mistake to take on these
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corporate clients? >> absolutely not. i would do it again because what i was out there doing was trying to help protect the asbestos victims. the asbestos workers and know that. the lawyers for the asbestos victims have described senator brown's charges as deliberately dishonest. even the boston globe has described of them as misleading. i was out there working for asbestos victims. if i had the chance, i would do it again. >> with all to respect, a travelers insurance co. is not going to pay a quarter of a million dollars to be a hired gun to work for the victims. that is a laughable. >> can we stay on the question? this was an insurance company obverses an insurance company. two insurance companies were
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fighting. if one of them won, then the asbestos victims would have a chance to get another half billion dollars in payments and there would be a device to pay them overtime. >> once again, with all due respect, the victims of the asbestos cases, 1/40 of what she got paid. it is laughable to think that she was working for the victims to set up a trust. a lot of them have not been paid to this debate. let's assume that she is correct on the asbestos matter. the other one is a whole different situation. in a union member. there's only one person in this race that has been fighting for union issues and that is made. if she had an opportunity to side with the little guy.
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and actually worked. once again come when the lights were not a shining and people were not watching, she made a choice to side with the conglomerate and got paid a five at the figure salary to deny the health care benefits. >> a final point on this. >> senator brown, once again, is making things up. the reality is that in the case of the poll company that he is talking about here and a black long, that everyone was going to get paid. it was a question of protecting a particular legal principle, but everyone was going to get paid. let's be clear. senator brown is the one who is not working with the unions. the unions have endorsed me. the asbestos workers said i was on their side, not as senator brown. the coal workers said i was on their side, not senator brown. he cannot change the fact. >> 1 follow. when she was advocating for that, if that legislation -- that ever did not prevail. had she prevailed, they would
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have unraveled the benefits. >> making up things up again. >> i want to talk about national politics here. i can tell you, living in washington and traveling around the country, i think you both know here in massachusetts, there is such a disgust with washington because of dysfunction and washington does not work. the question about bipartisanship here, senator, let me ask you this. you said a mitt romney that he is one of your strongest and earliest backers. he said it comes to dealing with the economic issues, there is no one i would trust more than governor romney. would you be a reliable ally of a president romney? >> i think he pointed out in your initial comment about this functionality in washington. when i went down there, i thought it was dysfunctional. when i got there, it was even worse. it still is. if you see it everyday. in speaking to the independent voters of massachusetts and
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being that independent of voice. i spoke about 50% with my party and 50% with the other party. that is a lot different than what professor warren would do. i need not work for anybody. i cannot work for president obama, mitt romney, mitch, harry reid -- i work for the people of massachusetts. i am named the least partisan senator and united states senate. >> it is striking the youth support governor running for president, i assume. >> as i said, when it comes to dealing with the economic issues, absolutely. >> you would be a reliable ally? >> it depends on with the issue is. >> on his economic plan. you said there's no one better. >> i also would like to read the bill. because i do. a lot of people to not to read the bills. i want to vote. i am a reliable vote for the bill. that is evidenced by my voting
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record. >> it is striking that we look to your campaign ads, is president obama that you see touting your work. we could not find any instance with you with governor romney having made any campaign appearances with him. there is an appearance york distancing yourself from governor romney to appeal to voters, specifically here in massachusetts. being " -- being too close to him may be a problem. [applause] >> as you know, in the second- most bipartisan member. i take pride in that. i was also proud to stand with him when we did the hiring veterans bill. of course, i will stand with the president. when he does something well, i praise him. >> you are not assessing yourself from governor romney? >> he is all over the country.
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i am here in massachusetts. when i said he will head of the economic issues as well, we certainly need to focus on his economic issues. in a $16 trillion national debt we have runaway deficits each and every year. we need to have the people down there and focus in a bipartisan matter. we do not need blood and teeth in the streets. we need people will find solutions. >> in this state, the legacy of senator kennedy is well known. part of that legacy is being able to compromise and work with republicans. can you name republicans in the senate that you are able to work with on big issues that the country faces? >> probably richard would be one that comes to mind. >> not going to be there. >> that is a problem. >> let me ask the question. are there any republicans that will be in the senate that you fill you can work with
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substantively and compromise with? >> it depends on what the subject matter is. let me give you an example. on the question of fannie and freddie -- fannie mae and freddie mac. the republicans have said across the spectrum that we need to revise fannie and freddie. i think there are wrong. at the that is an issue i think i could work with virtually every republican in the united states senate because it is an important issue for financing mortgages of people across this country. that is something i can do. i have actually had experience working across the aisle. when i first went to washington during the financial crisis in 2008, i was the head of a bipartisan commission. republicans and democrats. we took on some of the most difficult and challenging issues facing the country. we made reports and
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recommendations every 30 days. i am very proud to say that about half of our recommendations were unanimous we started with a basic principle -- were unanimous. we start with a basic principle we could agree on. we work from there to build something that was useful. at the end of the day, the reason i'm in this race is not about partisanship. it is about working families. i will work with anyone -- democrat, republican, libertarian, vegetarian, if they will work for the american family. >> what will be one of your first vote -- one your first votes would be to cast a vote for a majority or minority leader. would you vote for mitch mcconnell to be the leader of the republicans? >> our like to respond to what you said. >> a simple yes or no question. >> off our like to have a chance to respond and i will answer your question. with regard to working with
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somebody, was working with any person on opposite side of the aisle, she cannot reference one person except someone who is retiring. a truly bipartisan person. i have a history of working across the aisle. 54% with my party. professor warren would be 100%. when it comes to dealing with the majority or minority leader, i wanted to be clear to mitch mcconnell that i am disgusted as to what is going on down there. he has a lot of work to do to earn my vote. i do not vote for him or harry reid. when i walked in i can vote however i want. you've seen it. you have evidence of it. there is no evidence that professor warren would be a voting and working across the aisle. very few members of the democratic party right now do it. thank goodness we have people like me and others like me.
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senators know, senator lugar. there are other people down there who can actually get things done. >> undecided. >> i have made it very clear. >> i would like to say two things. when senator brown talks here in massachusetts about how very bipartisan he is and how very independent he is, he is sure not say the same thing when it goes around the country raising money in the senate. [applause] he goes around this country and what he says to people around the country is that they should contribute to his campaign because if he is reelected, that increases the odds that the republicans will control the senate and he can block president obama's agenda [applause] let's just be honest about what
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is going on. >> given his vote, to believe his goal is to block and a stretch president obama's agenda? >> fought on economic issues, i absolutely do. in fact, i can do the examples. we had a quarter of a million people unemployed here in the commonwealth of massachusetts last fall. president obama put forward a jobs bill. the first jobs bill would have supported 22,000 jobs here in the commonwealth. senator brown voted in lockstep with every other republican, no. and we did not get the jobs bill. a few weeks later, there was a jobs bill to prevent the layoffs of teachers and firefighters of police officers
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all across this commonwealth and this country. senator brown voted in lockstep with the republicans and voted no. we did not fit that bill through. >> if i could respond. >> third, there was a third jobs bill. would have supported 11,000 jobs, mostly in construction to repair transportation that we needed it and as senator brown voted in lockstep with all the
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other republicans and it just to put icing on the cake, he voted against unemployment insurance extension 16 times for people who were out of work. senator brown has made clear where he stands. [applause] >> thank you. first of all, she is obviously misstating the facts. these are rejections by both democrats and republicans. [applause] if you're going to come on my record, i would at least have to refer to it. excuse me. i'm not listed in your classroom. please let me respond. [cheers and boos] with regard to the jobs bill, it was rejected in a bipartisan matter. they raised over $450 million in new taxes. in the unemployment benefits, there was no one that lost. my mom was on welfare. i remember it being there as a safety net for people. we also try to find a way to pay for it. professor warren would have voted against it because we had a compromise that the president put forth and she said she would not have supported the compromise by the only extending the tax policy that has been in place for 10 years, but also to the unemployment benefits that we had feared she would have voted against that because she wanted to raise taxes on some of the folks with in that bracket. we actually did it. no one lost any benefits. i was proud to vote for the bill. as you know, when you are in washington, you have to go back and forth and negotiate final solution to the bill. >> let me extend this period
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there will be more discussion about how to create the jobs. i want to talk about the fiscal cliff and the debt. the simpson-bowles commission which has gotten so much discussion across the country, they came up with the plan that said, look. we have to cut $4 trillion of the debt. here is how we are going to do it. if we will cut spending, but we're also going to deal with the tax code. more people should pay taxes, they say. we should eliminate some of these exemptions and deductions. we will get $1 trillion from them and in the process of doing that, we're going to lower rates for everybody and about 10% of that we will pay down the debt. why is that not a common sense, practical solution? you have not said if you will vote down. >> the evidence of what i have done, i will keep an open mind so we can get something done, because the president commissioned that study and then gave a speech and did not do anything on that. we have not had a budget in the senate for four years. we need to get our house in order.
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>> is this an appropriate approach if you get that kind of trade-off? >> the problem is every time in washington, people have a feeling they do not raise taxes in washington. we have a health care bill that is raising 18 new taxes. we have a very serious spending a problem in washington. the more money you give washington, the more they will spend. >> can you simply cut your way to a balanced budget? >> i will not raise taxes on americans in the middle of recession. a business group said the
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proposals that professor warren wants to push will cut 700,000 jobs nationally. >> you are talking the lowering marginal rates -- >> proposals are not coming forward. i have already -- >> what about the mortgage deduction? >> you cannot be pitting groups against individuals and businesses. you need to sit down together in a bipartisan manner, and that is the difference between professor warren and me. if you can sit down on both sides of the aisle -- >> what he does not want to talk about is he has signed a right-wing pledge never to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires.
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that is the grover norquist plan. >> he wants to extend the tax cuts for everybody? >> for example, the buffett rule. the idea that billionaires should pay at least as much in taxes as their secretaries do, scott brown along with every other republican voted no. it was fine with and that billionaires paid less than their secretaries. oil subsidies -- the oil companies made $137 billion in profits last year. yet, when it came up to get rid of the subsidies, senator brown voted with the republicans to say no. we are going to let them keep the subsidies. that is just wrong. and then the big vote -- this
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is the really amazing one -- about a month ago, when the question came up about letting the bush tax cuts expire, senator brown followed it to say that he would let taxes rise for 98% of the families here in massachusetts and 97% of the small businesses, he would hold them hostage unless there were tax cuts for the top 3%. i think that is just wrong. [indiscernbile] >> i am trying to press both sides on what you're saying, ok? i hope that is one of the reasons that i am here. on the question of simpson- bowles, which you accept $3 billion in spending cuts if you got revenue increases? >> the point of simpson-bowles, it used a balanced approach that we must have cuts and revenue increases. i completely agree with that.
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that is the right approach. it is a moderate, sensible approach, not the approach that scott brown and the republicans have used. he is trying to use a balanced approach, because he has put forward proposals that would increase revenues. senator brown submitted his proposals to "the boston globe" -- >> senator brown, respond to what she said. >> regarding oil, if anybody thinks by raising taxes on energy producers will not be passed on, they will pass all of those off to our motorists and homeowners and everybody knows that. if you want to have a comprehensive discussion about energy, we should have it, a true all of the above approach. she is against the keystone pipeline. she is also against -- in favor of wind and solar, but we need
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more of an approach in that. let me talk about the buffet rule as well. the buffett rule, it funds the government for a day. more importantly, we have our own buffett rule in massachusetts. when she has been talking about everybody paying higher taxes, she had a choice to pay higher taxes herself, and she chose not to do that. number three, all of her
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criticisms on me is i do not want to raise taxes. that is correct. i do not want to raise taxes on any american in the middle of recession. when i go to businesses, they do not say take all my money and bring it to washington. they say we have been taxed and regulated enough, and the only person here who is a fiscal conservative is me. >> let me break in here. we will have more of our discussion. we will take a break and be back with our debate in a few minutes. >> we have at elizabeth warren and scott brown. we're talking about the economy and how to create jobs with concerned students here about job creation and this tough economy that you both are dealing with. i want to introduce mary hazel who has a question. please ask your question. >> good evening.
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i am a senior here at umass. in may i will graduate in this arena. i am not scared of growing up or going out in the world. what are the policies will you propose or support help students like me find jobs? >> a great question, and the answer has but the short-term part and a long-term part. in the short term, we have an economy that is struggling to recover, and that shows up and lots of different ways. it is why i support the jobs bill. the president has proposed it as part of his proposal to get the economy jump-started, because it will put paychecks in people's hands and get work done that we need to get done. once we have got those paychecks in people's hands,
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they spend them in the local economy, with businesses, that creates more demand, the businesses hire more people, and that helps the economy get going. in the short run, it is exactly the right thing to do, and i was disappointed when scott brown and republicans blocked it. in the long run, there is another answer. that is how we create jobs for the future, and i believe the answer is we have to invest in the future. we have to make this a great place to grow jobs. the way i see that is we make those investments in education, roads, bridges, in water, power, in research, in the things that give us all of the energy going forward so that this is a good place to build jobs. you're in a great state in massachusetts, because massachusetts is on the cutting
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edge of what we can do in new energy, in clean energy, and building innovation, and tech. we're doing it in biotech. we're making the new advances for the rest of the country, for the rest of the world. we can invest it in massachusetts, and we can build it in massachusetts. to do that, we need a good federal partner, someone in washington who will be there to fight for us and to invest in us. senator brown? >> thank you for your questions, and congratulations and good luck. we live in one of the greatest states in the country. massachusetts is an innovative state. the challenges that we are facing as i travel all are around massachusetts is the lack of regulatory and tax certainty. people are concerned, do not know what the tax policies will
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become, what new regulations will be imposed on that. the result is less people hiring and looking to hire. as i was with an unemployed mom -- she has been trying to find a job. one the challenges is that people are scared to hire, and it is the tax policies that are being pushed that are a factor. take it from the national federation of independent businesses, the u.s. chamber of commerce. a lot of proposals pushed by professor warren are job- destroying messages. my proposals allows you to raise a million dollars online with investors, a new financing tool for you and others to create jobs. the hire the veterans bill, i was proud to be present when the president signed the bill. there are many other efforts we have done, but the key is in
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order to get these initiatives, you need to work together to do it. you cannot be raising taxes and have more spending when we're in a $16 trillion debt because that is the biggest concern i have, that you will not be able to pay back all the amazing amount of debt you are incurring. >> another issue is the question of immigration and the need for -- >> when do we get to respond here? >> you have gotten a chance to respond. the president has said it is one of his biggest regrets that it did not get passed. i want to interview another student. >> good evening, everyone, i am
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a business and finance management student. my family is in the dominican republic, and at 16 i was fortunate to become a u.s. citizen. for those young people who are not as fortunate as me, i want to know if you support or oppose the dream act, and can you please tell us why and why not. >> senator brown, you have called that a form of amnesty. >> let me say congratulations on becoming a u.s. citizen, but let me tell you i am in favor of full legal immigration.
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i have been working on that since being in the senate. i do not support the dream act. it is a form of back-door amnesty -- >> ok, please go ahead. >> we need to improve our legal immigration system. professor warren is in favor of in-state tuition. she is not in favor of securing our borders. these aren't things that are different. when it comes to the dream act, are there things we can do, certainly, but they want to bring it up and push it through
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without any debate. the key to get anything done on immigration is working on increasing quotas, so we can do it legally, because we cannot take a class of people and move them ahead of the people who are trying to do it legally. >> he is right. this is a big difference between the two of us. i would strongly support the dream act. i believe that. i also believe we need comprehensive immigration reform. but we need to do comprehensive immigration reform, visa reform, as part of that. we need to follow the law and enforce our borders, but we need to the immigration reform, and it needs to happen now. we cannot keep putting this off. it is not right. >> i want to move through issues as quickly as we can. i want to touch on foreign
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policy. the war in afghanistan is drawing to a close. the plans have been laid out for troops to return home. what is an acceptable outcome to the war in afghanistan, and what is our responsibility to achieve that outcome after u.s. troops returned? >> we have always had difficult returned with describing that, and as a result we need to get our troops out of afghanistan as quickly as we can. >> before the president's timeline? >> it is time to bring our troops home and stop spending $2 billion a week in afghanistan. we need that money. >> the united states does not have responsibility any longer? >> we cannot rebuild afghanistan for ever. we cannot do that. having unrealistic goals and spending more money is the wrong approach. i want to say on this, all three of my brothers served in the military. our service members are incredible.
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they will do anything we ask of them. they work hard, they are resourceful, but that means we owe them an obligation to put them out in harm's way when we have clear goals in mind, when it is clear what we're going to do, how we will accomplish it, and how we will get out. >> i am a ranking member on armed services committee. i supported -- i have been to afghanistan, and i supported the president's surge and his timetable for withdrawal. i did not agree with the date. our goal is to make sure that the taliban and al qaeda do not to join forces. i respectfully disagree. i will rely on the generals on the ground and commander in chief as to when he wants to bring in our troops home. >> should he recommit forces?
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>> i would hope that does not happen. i would rely on the guidance from the president and hope he would come to congress to let us know what his plans are. >> who is your model supreme court justice? >> justice scalia is a very good judge. justice kennedy. justice kennedy is very good, and justice roberts, justice sotomayor, they are very qualified people there who do in a very good -- >> they do not exactly agree.
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>> if you had to pick one? >> i do not have to pick one, there are plenty up there, and i am proud of the ones we have. >> it would probably be elena kagan. >> let me ask you, why do you think massachusetts has never elected a female senator or governor? >> i don't know. [laughter] >> no idea? it does it trouble you? >> well, right now i am trying to do something about that. [laughter] >> senator brown, do think the senator kerry would be a good secretary of state? >> i do. he has a very good knowledge of world affairs. he is a leader on that issue,
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and i look to his guidance when we're dealing with foreign issues. i think he is. >> i want to do two important questions. it has been a hard-fought race. can you each say something you admire about the other, ms. warren? >> i think senator brown has a lovely family. [laughter] he does. [laughter] i agree with him when he ultimately voted for -- voted to get rid of don't ask don't tell. i agree with him. >> she is a hard-working, accomplished professor, and she is very qualified. she has a hard-working family as well, and she is such a good
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professor, and i have heard from parents who have had their kids being taught by her, and they say she is wonderful. i would do everything i can do in my power to make sure that she continues in that position. >> i saved the most contentious for last. the worst red sox team in decades -- i hate to tell you. does bobby valentine deserve another year, or should he be fired? >> i am still wounded on that one. >> should he be fired? this is on the back page of "the boston herald." >> i would give him another year.
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>> earlier this season, professor warren said the red sox would win 90 games. it has been very disappointing. we need to do better next year. >> you will not commit? >> there is a lot of problems, and they need to work on them themselves. >> we will move to our closing statements, starting with senator brown. >> thank you for everybody who is here, and those of you at home who are also watching. i am from here. i grew up here, i went to school here, and aside from my marriage to gail, being your senator has been the greatest honor i have had in my life. i have tried to read the bills, understand them, understand how they affect us. you sent me down to be the independent voter and think,
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to be the independent voter and thinker, and i have done exactly that. i am 50% with my party, 50 pettersson wpt the other people, working trying to move this country forward. this election is about that. we are going to have some very real challenges. the challenge is getting our economy mover, debt, deaf it's, taxes, spend, job security, and you need people who you down there working together. i need your vote. i can't do this alone. thank you, david, for holding this. [cheers and applause] >> thank you again. thank you for holding this and thank you all for being here. i am not a professional politician. this is the first time i have ever run for public office. i got into this because america's working families are just getting hammered. washington is rigged for those who hire an army of lobbyists
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and lawyers. senator brown, he has some good thoughts. but too often when it comes down to it in the hard votes, he stands with the millionaires, he stands with the billionaires and big oil companies. he's not there for people who are out of work. he's not there for women who want access to birth control covered by their health insurance. [cheers and applause] he's not there no senators who are hoping to pay for prescription drugs. i don't want to go to washington to work for millionaires, billionaires and big oil. i want to go to washington to be there to fight for working families and small businesses. that is what this is all about for me. >> elizabeth warren, thank you very much. senator scott brown, thank you. we want to thank our sponsors as they shake hands. i am over here somewhere. don't forget to vote november 6th. thank you very much.
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>> our coverage of senate races continues tomorrow night from texas. republican ted cruz is running against paul sadler for the seat vacated. mr. cruz is the former solicitor general of texas, and mr. sadler was a member of the texas house. their debate will be at the studios of wfaa in dallas live on crap at 8:00 p.m. eastern. watch an engage with c-span has the presidential candidates meet in their first debate on wednesday from the university of denver. our live debate preview starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern. at 9:00 p.m., the news hair with jim lerher moderates the debate focusing on domestic policy. after the debate, viewer reaction, comments, e-mails and tweets. you can follow our live coverage on c-span, c-span radio and online at c-span.org.
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nebraska senator ben nelson is not running for re-election. the candidates for that seat are republican doug fisher, a -- deb fisher, a republican, and gob khary. our coverage of their monday night debate is courtesy of n.i.t. news. >> we are live tweeting this debate. if you're on twitter, follow the hashtag nesen.
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for the next hour the candidates will face questions from nebraska journalists, from citizens across the state who participated in our news voter voices project, and also questions from each other. the rules are fairly simple. each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond to the question and then 30 seconds for a rebuttal. tonight's debate is taking place before a live studio audience. we have asked the audience to refrain from applauding or cheering as it will only take time away from the candidates. before we meet the candidates, let's meet the panel of journalist. we begin with fred knapp, a urge:ist for 30 years, the last 11 of those with n.e.t. news coverage the state sledge slache and politics. and pauline, a journalist for
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20 years. you aged me a bit. >> she has spent 10 of those with n-tv in central nebraska, where she is the evening news editor. and a capital bureau reporter. >> before the debate we held several coin tosses with the campaigns to determine the order of different parts of the debate. as a result of that, the first candidate to present a one-minute opening state is nebraska state senator deb fisher. >> thank you and good evening. we want to change the way that washington does business. if we keep send the same type of person what back to washington, we can't expect change.
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we need to look at that. here in nebraska we make tough decisions, and we move on. but in neambing we are able to do that. we are if he had up. that is another reason that i am running for the united states senate. they have said enough spending, enough in debt and enough taxes on the middle-class. we have made changes here in the state of nebraska that grows this economy. that is why i am running for the united states senate. they want a change of leadership in washington. we have a senate in washington that hasn't passed a budget, let alone a balanced budget. we can change that. that is why i am running for the united states senate. i want to pass a balanced budget. i'm not your usual politician. obviously i am not one of the good ole boys, and i will make the tough decisions in the united states senate. we'll roll up my sleeves and
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work hard for you, and i will fight for you. i will fight for all people. thank you. >> thank you. now the opening statement from former nebraska governor and senator bob khary. >> i love nebraska. i was born here in lincoln. i went to lincoln northeast high school. i left nebraska, went to war and came home. i recovered from my injuries here in lincoln. i started a business that today employs more than 700 people. i have served you as your governor. we balanced the budget and the economy recovered. i served as a senator, and again we balanced the budget and our economy recovered. when i left officer we were paying off our public debt. i am a candidate for congress or the senate because congress needs to change, and i will
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fate to make that change happen. i never have and i never will be a cookie cutter politician. i never have and i never will be anything other than someone who loves nebraska and will always do what is best for our state and our nation. >> thank you, senator. now that the candidates have made their opening statements, it is time for questions from our panel of journalists. we begin with fred with a question for senator kerry. >> you are running to be not just a senator from nebraska, but a u.s. senator. if elected, how would you balance the economic interests of agriculture with those of the nation as a hole. should congress require the use of 15 billion gals a year for ethanol when critics say that raises food prices for
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everyone? >> the nation he is and agriculture is align. we have a surplus. the interests of agriculture and the united states are aligned. i am appalled that neither governor romney or president obama is talking about agriculture in this campaign. it is the foundation of the u.s. economy. i fought for ethanol since i was governor. it has been a great success. it has lowered the price of fuel, improved the quality of economy. it has created tens of thousands of jobs. it is a great example of bipartisan efforts. there is a new company with 100 yards. the governor and senator worked together with the champion better of commerce and brought the jobs here. this isn't a threat to our economy. the interests of agriculture and the united states of america are completely aligned. there is no need to choose.
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>> senator fisher? >> thank you very much. you know, i grew up in lincoln. my husband and i have been married 40 years, and i have lived in cherry county for those years with our family ranch, our three sons and denali. agriculture is important in this state. what is important is that we always work together as a state. there are urban interests and rural interests and they coincide. because of agriculture's importance to the state of nebraska -- for instance, one in three jobs are dependent on the ag economy. we need to keep it in mind. it is a balancing act. i have done it in the last eight years in the legislature, handling that balancing act. that is how we grow our economy. in fact, we have weathered this economy fairly well here in the
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state of nebraska because the ago economy has been strong, because it has carried us through. that is recognized all across the state. >> senator, kerry, 30 seconds. >> everything she sedition i agree with. i am not quite sure what she said. my problem with what senator fisher talks about here and in other areas is that her signing of the northwest pledge, her support of this particular balanced budget amendment will necessitate deep cuts in everything she talks about wanting to do. in this case, crop insurance. we authored that back in the 1990's. we have to push beyond the rhetoric and ask the question. what is the impact on nebraska of the fisher plan? >> we hear about the northwest pledge. that is a pledge i have made to
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the people of nebraska. senator nelson has signed that as well. when ronald reagan was president, we had a debt of $1 trillion. today it is $16 trillion. ronald reagan said we can't do it with a quintero anymore. it is going to take a stick, and that is the balanced budget mendment. at $16 trillion, we need a big stick. we need to cut spending. we can do that. we can balance this budget. >> thank you. our next question from clean williams directed to senator fisher. >> what is the one thing we should be concentrating on to improve education in this country? >> i'm a former school board member of 20 years. i started out in a two-room school house, was elected to that board and then served over 15 years on the valentine school board. i understand the importance of education. it is a priority for me.
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but it works best at the local level. it works best when you have school board members involved, when you have parents involved, when you have a community involved and when you have educators involved. one of the mistakes i believe that has been made at the federal level is the package of the no child left behind act. i think it started out with good intentions, but it hasn't accomplished what it should have. it has taken educators out of the classroom, and we need to keep them in the classroom if they are going to address the needs of students. >> senator? >> the most important thing is to make sure that these kids arrive in kindergarten ready to learn. if they are behind, they are never going to catch up. i am not going to get a nobel prize for making that discovery. it is a fact. the rhetoric of senator fisher and the reality of her propose
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always don't match up. she voted against providing prenatal care for children. the proposal will result in deep cuts to early childhood education and head start. it is a fact. i am not exaggerating here. that is what her plan does. at least grover is honest. he was on the entitlement commission with senator danforth and i. he is against the head start bill. he is honest about what he wants. he would like to see medicare privatized. that is what he wants. he didn't sign a pledge for nebraska. he signed his pledge. i happen to disagree with that vision and believe that signing that pledge is going to make it difficult for us to take care of our kids and give them the quality of education they need. >> senator fisher, 30 seconds. >> mr. kerry, i don't agree with your numbers.
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you know that. i signed a pledge to people. i have never had them say to me go to lincoln and raise my taxes. i have never had a person say to me go to washington and keep spending. that is not how we do it. i have been on the front lines in education. i have served on a board in a small district where you deal intimately with staff, with students and with parents, and we have been successful here in the state doing this. >> thank you. >> the numbers are available for people to look at. you can examine it. macroeconomics has examined the impact. it will destroy 50,000 jobs. it will make it difficult to do anything. it was her vote against prenatal care for children that i cited. she is not an advocate for early childhood education, which i think is the most
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important thing we can do to make certain we have success in our schools. >> in is the nebraska did he babe live from the studios in lincoln. now it is your turn to ask a question of our candidates. for months n.e.t. news with libraries across nebraska have encouraged voters to record a short video and ask a question for the candidates to answer. we call the project voter voices. tonight you will hear there two nebraska citizens. our first question comes from margaret bowzer of home hwa. >> the other problem that i would like to see addressed in the next four years is huge campaign finance reform. our elections are being sold to the highest bidder. that is not what our democracy should be about. >> senator kerrey? >> did she have a two part question? >> the focus is on campaign finance reform.
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all right. when i say i am going to fight to change congress, i need it i have a 45-word amendment to the constitution that i think would make those proud. it says that congress must organize itself in a non-partisan fashion. you can have no more than 12 consecutive years of service. you have to place limitations of what you can spend in campaigns. the questioner is right. even if it is not reality, the perception is that politics has been corrupted by money. i remember running in 1982. the constitution says if you are 30 years old and a citizen you can run. but the reality is if you can't raise $7 million or $8 million, you are not qualified. there is no question is his corrupting our political process and decision-making.
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we have to change the constitution to give congress the authority to actually limit what can be spent in campaigns. >> thank you. senator? >> thank you. i am proud of the fact that on our last campaign finance report that both of us turned in, over 70% of my contributions came from within the state of nebraska. it came from nebraska citizens. with mr. kerry, over 70% of his contributions came from out of state. i hope to engage citizens. that is what i have been doing, is traveling the state, engaging citizens, garnering great grassroots support across the state. we did it in the primary. there was so much excitement. we have that now. we have it with local people here in the state of nebraska. when you are talking about possibly finance reforms, i think we need more transparency. i think we need more accountability. you can look at requiring
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instead of quarterly reports, maybe monthly reports. there are changes that can be looked at to make it a more open and transparent process. that is what campaign finance is about. >> senator kerrey, 30 seconds? >> i disagree. if we don't amend the constitution to give congress the authority to limit spending, you going to see a continuation of this. waterboarding is more popular today than congress. the big wall street banks spent $400 million in 2009 and 2010 to water down the regulation bill they are trying to repeal it again. >> i can tell citizens that have donate todd my campaign, over 70%, they don't expect that they botany vote. it doesn't happen in the legislature, and it is not going to happen in the united states senate. and for someone to say, mr.
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kerry, that you want to amend the constitution. it is easier said than done. that is a very difficult process to go through. amending the constitution to make it a non-partisan body, how does that make it easier? >> here is the next question. >> good evening, senators. attack adds and name-calling has seemed to become auch a fact. you are not allowed to not answer this. list three qualities or accomplishments that would make your opponent a great u.s. senator? >> i have always said i thank mr. kerry and respect him for his service to our country. i respect him for his service as a governor, and i respect him for his service in the united states senate.
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that being said, i am not supporting you in this election . [laughter] but i thank you for that. that is very important, and i do honor you for it. but you have a different perspective when it comes to view of government than i do. i think you believe that government is the wherewith of all for what we need in this country. i do not. i believe we need private responsibility. but i do thank you for your service. >> well, you are welcome two that service. i respect that she is a mother. i respect that she is a rancher and a small business person. i think she is campaigning on all three of those things. i have a great deal of respect for what she did in the school board and legislature. anybody that is a candidate for public office, you are putting your family and so far at risk.
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but we have fundamental disagreements here. the negative advertising is in one year -- all you have to do to miss negative advertising is not watch television, which is not a bad option. what she said isn't true. i started a business here in nebraska. the first thing we had to do to start our business was get a permit, get a zone change. i understand the governor doesn't create jobs and that the private sector creates jobs, and i understand you have to be careful with taxes in that regard. it is political rhetoric in my opinion. she said earlier you can't get a constitutional amendment passed and that is why i don't support it. i was alive in 1971 when they lowered the voting age. i was in favor of raising the shooting age. we got it done in 90 days. if i am in the senate, i have
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no doubt that i can persuade them. >> thank you. >> well now i would have to say i admire your determination to believe you you could do something like that. that is a mighty task. i don't see congress changing that quickly. non-partisan legislature works here in the state of nebraska. i'm a part of that. i have worked through with my colleagues on a number of issues for the last eight years, and we have accomplished a lot, and i am very proud of that fact. but it is not that easy. what we need to do is make sure that we have people elected who your willing to step forward and work across the aisle. not career politicians. >> senator kerryy? >> just because it is difficult doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.
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i believe i can get it done. i don't intend to persuade congress. they are going to oppose it. i am going to fight to change the rules of the filibuster. i am going to announce $1 trillion in safings by cutting back on congress' pensions and the executive branch. if we want to balance this budget, we have to lead with that kind of an effort. i expect to persuade the american people. >> here is the next question. >> senator kerryy, nebraska has the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4%, but the bureau of labor statistics say the rate is twice that. what can you do to improve that situation? >> first of all, there is
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nothing worse in life than wanting to work and not finding a job. in a lot of ways it is sort of outside of the reach of the experience of of both senator fisher and myself. this is a difficult thing for us to understand. so i would say first of all you have to keep production and agriculture healthy. we have 19 companies up in omaha that process food every day. senator fisher is in opposition to a proposal that would have removed a $300 million tax on m.u.d. has made it difficult on those jobs. you have to think about those burdens if you are going to create economic opportunities. i think you have to support public-private partner ships. i have heard them talk about a mentor program that the governor started. small things that can make a difference. low cost public power can make
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a difference. the partner ships have with our universities throughout the state are important. the fisher plan will make those things difficult. it just will. the facts say so, you can't run away from it. you have to cut $1 trillion with the spending, and it will increase unemployment in nebraska by 50,000 people. >> senator fisher? >> thank you. let me tell you what the fisher plan is. the fisher plan is a jobs plan. it is to allow small businesses to grow, create jobs and turn this economy around. the fisher plan is so we can create opportunities for people to have jobs so they can take care of their families, so they can buy homes, so they can save for their kids' college education. that is what the fisher plan is. the fisher plan means we back government away from small businesses and let small businesses create jobs. that is how we are going to turn this economy around.
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that is how we are going to get on the road to recovery. we are going to reduce regulations. i always tell the story about meeting with home builders here in lincoln, and they told me that instead of inspectors coming and saying you need to change this, you need to fix this to meet a regulation, in the last four years what they have seen are inspectors coming in and signing them. what home builder had a ladder leaning up against the wall and he was fined $7,000. that is is a government that is out of control. we need to reduce those regulations. we need to reform the tax code. if we want businesses to grow in this economy, you know what the fisher plan is? the fisher plan is that we need to look at the corporate tax straight. we are looking at 35% corporate tax rate. that is the highest among our trading partners. we need to lower that to 24%, close loopholes, allow businesses to create jobs here in this country and here in
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this state. we have done it in nebraska. >> thank you. >> that is the fisher slogan. the fisher plan says to governor no tax increase, including people over $1 million. the balanced budget proposal that she has is $1 trillion worth of cuts. it will increase unemployment in the state of nebraska 50%. it will break our commitments to senators, to veterans, it will weaken our military. that is what it does. this is outside analysis. in her own words she said to cut our mail terry is a bad thing. her proposal is 10 times worse. >> thank you. i will continue with the fisher plan because the fisher plan is going to reduce energy costs. we are lucky to have public power in this state, and we will get energy costs reduced. that helps businesses to grow.
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the fisher plan is going to allow for free and fair trade where you have an administration hopefully that will get those trade agreements to congress and get them signed so that our economy can grow. we have done it in nebraska. we have grown jobs here in the state of nebraska and provided property tax relief. those are specifics, not slogans of the fisher plan. i haven't heard that from the kerry plan. >> thank you. this is the nebraska senate debate. a reminder to give us your thoughts on the debate on twitter. tonight we are putting questions to republican deb fisher and democrat bob kerrey. the next two questions will come from the candidates themselves. they will each ask one question of the other. we will begin with senator fisher asking senator kerrey a question. >> mr. kerrey, you talk about cutting spending.
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you talk about but partisanship. yet when you were in the united states senate, when the welfare reform bill came up, you fought against it. that was a bipartisan bill. it was put forward by president clinton. i liked the ball, the people from nebraska liked the ball. senator kerry and joe biden voted for the bill. that was an important piece of legislation. can you explain to us why did you vote against cutting spending? why did you vote against requiring people to work for their welfare check? and why did you vote against that landmark piece of legislation? >> you have 90 seconds. >> first of all, that is several questions. i did not vote against cutting spending. we supported the george bush budget in 1990. we did the same thing in 1993. and i worked with john kasic
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and impinge beginning -- newt gingrich rich, and it got the job done. we balanced the budget. the unemployment rate was going down and poverty rates were going down. other than that, it didn't work. i didn't like the welfare bill. i voted against it because i didn't believe it provided the kind of child care and work support we needed to provide. we came back in, in 1997, and did it. i don't oppose of people receiving welfare to have to work. i think it is a good thing to do. i was governor in 1983 when we were in recession. we had no tax increase over that food. we lowered the tax on ford.
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the governors will tell you. spend more money here, spend more money there. and we held the line. in this campaign i have endorsed republican proposals to cut spending. the conservative senator from oklahoma. i am proposing to cut congress today. it simply isn't true to say that i haven't supported spending cuts, because i have done plenty of it in the past. >> thank you. senator fisher you have a 30-second rebuttal. >> this was a signature achievement for president bill clinton. it was a vote against cutting spending. you didn't cut spending then. i don't know if you will cut spending if you go back to the united states senate. i don't want to see taxes raised. that is not the future i see for this country. if we are going to truly cut spending, yes, i support a
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balanced budget amendment because politicians will spend every dime they get. we need a bigger stick. >> thank you. senator kerryy, your question for senator fisher. >> well, can i -- >> not according to the format. >> let me put it back to you. in the last debate you talked eloquently about taking care of our veterans, our military and keeping our commitment to seniors. i have looked at this balanced budget amendment. that is a trillion dollar. i know we have had two wars and 18 million baby boomers. how are you going to cut $1 trillion? >> this is where we disagree. i see a brighter future for
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america. i see a more positive future. i believe we can turn this economy around. we can grow jobs. we can have this economy recover. it is not all about cutting spending. that is a very important part. we have done it here in nebraska. it's an important part to cut the spending, but you have to grow an economy if you are going to create jobs and opportunities. and i believe it can be done. i think my view of the future is more positive than yours because you look at cutting spending, but you look at raising taxes. that is a if you said mental difference between us. >> i will say it again. in this campaign, i have endorsed republican appropriatesals to cut spending. tom coburn on social, a conservative republican of oklahoma. and today announced $1 trillion worth of cuts to congress in executive branch. i under we have to cut
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spending. my point is all this slogan of eering about being optist. i am optimist about our future. but when you cut $1 trillion because you don't want to raise taxes for people over $1 million, because you don't want to produce additional revenues, it will increase the unemployment rate in nebraska. >> back to our journalists. clean with a question directed towards senator fisher. >> one part of health care reform did away with insurance companies' ability to deny people coverage for preexisting conditions. part of the trade-off to cover increased costs was requiring individuals to have coverage. if the health care law is repealed, would you favor keeping preexisting conditions coverage? if so, how would you pay for
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it? >> i support reappealing the health care act. i think that is important. what i hear from people avoss the state of nebraska is that they overwhelmingly support it as well. we don't like the individual mandate. we don't like government coming between a doctor and a patient. preexisting conditions, in visiting with the people in this state, it is very important that we address that. i believe the united states senate will come together and address it. what i will tell you is that we won't pay for it by stealing over $700 billion from medicare. that was the trade-off on the health care act now. that was the deal that was made. that is not sound policy. everyone knows it is not sound policy. what we can do is look for savings. we can look for savings with toward reform. over a quarter of the medical procedures that are required now are unnecessary. that is one way we can look for
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the money. >> senator? >> first of all, i signed a toward reform bill when i was depombings and it had no impact on costs -- governor and it had no impact on costs muhammad ali. it is a decrease in payments to insurance companies and hospitals. that is what it is. senator fisher, you will be eligible for medicare in four or five years. the problem is under her proposal, medicare will be insolvent in 1016 under current law, it will be incolorado vent in 2024. i just heard senator fisher talk about the need to cut spending. now she wants to spend another $700 billion on insurance companies and hospitals. i support the affordable health care ack. i like the idea that preexisting conditions can no longer be cited to not
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underwrite people. i like that we have eliminated lifetime caps. 300,000 seniors with prescription drugs have gotten a benefit. but most importantly, there are 120,000 people who in 2014 will get about $3,000 each. they are making about $10 an hour. they are going to be able to buy health insurance. they will be healthier. they will be more likely to hold their family together and be more productive in the work force. you will have a hard time in 2020 finding anybody who said they opposed this thing because of the good it will do for our economy and people. >> senator, fisher, 30 seconds. >> we disagree because the $700 billion is a cut to medicare and the providers. those providers have said they expected to make it up by the increase in patients that would be coming due to obama a care.
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we are going to see 23 million people that are going to lose their employer insurance because of the health care act. that is an estimate of what is going to happen. this is not a good policy. >> senator kerrey? >> it simply isn't true. she wants to spend $700 billion more on medicare. that is what she is proposing to do. it is going to make it insolvent in 2016 rather than 2024. it is troy that obama care will provide $1 billion to nebraska hospitals to cover uncompensated care, and they will net out ahead. that is why i support the bill as is. the the fact is congress didn't steal money from medicare. they preserved and extended its life. >> thank you. our next question from kevin of the lincoln journal star, directed to senator kerrey. >> the united states, as you well know, has been at war
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since 2001, and i think it is safe to saying that most americans are war weary. that said, what should be u.s. policy toward syria and iran specifically? under what conditions would you support the use of military force, and should it require the prior consent of congress? >> of course it requires the prior consent of congress. president obama needed to come to congress before it went against libya. congress has the authority to decide when and where we should go to work. i think we have to be very careful. i went to a war that was very popular when it started. then after people started dying, it got unpopular and we wanted to get it done. the same thing is happening in afghanistan. by the way, this war on terror didn't start in 2001. our barracks in lebanon with attacked in 1983, 1991, at the
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towers. we were attacked in the cole in 2000. the problem was we didn't recognize the threat. i do believe we made a terrible mistake treating it as a law enforcement problem. these people have declared war on us. and they are engaging in war-like practices to go after us. there is no question this war predates 2001. i don't think you need to occupy afghanistan to fight the war. i don't think you have to occupy any nation. but no one should doubt that this war is going to continue. there is an existential threat to the united states of america regardless of where you are in the world. >> thank you. senator fisher? >> yes, congress must consent to war. iran should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons. that needs to be made clear. we have an administration that has a foreign policy that is in
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confusion. it is not clear to our allies nor to our foes. with regards to iran, we saw student protestors. no word from this administration. no word at all. finally in 2011 the united states stepped forward with sanctions. i'm happy that the european nations have stepped forward with sanctions as well. but we need to be clear with our allies, with our ally israel. this isn't just their problem or that reggie. this is a problem for the world. it is estimated in three years the iranians are going to have icbm's that can reach the united states. this is our concern. and we have heard nothing from this administration with regard to iran enriching uranium.
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there is a lack of leadership, a lack of claret. i wannamaker to remain a stabilizing force in the world -- i want america to remain a stabilizing force in the world. a lack of leadership, a lack of clarification, when our allies need to know what we are doing, we have lost that. >> i don't know who is more confused, governor romney or president obama. it is a confusing time in the middle east. the fifth fleet is in bahrain. that is on the persian gulf. there are 80 million people in iran. the day after we are attacked on 9/11, two countries were on the street in celebration. one was scottsdale and the other was iran. the people like us? if we are not careful with military action, we will turn
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the people against us as well. >> thank you. senator fisher, 30 seconds. >> i wanted to follow up on the part of your question about syria as well. we are looking at a civil war there. we are looking at a dictator, asaad, who is murdering his open people. i am not advocating entering that country. we don't even know who the rebels are. there is some indication that it could be al qaeda. we need to be very careful. but i would suggest again showing leadership by this administration in trying to pressure russia, where syria is a client state of russia and have them are try and step in with this situation. >> thank you. we told you earlier in the debate about the n.e.t. news voter voices election project which asked citizens across the state to go to a participating lillibridge rather and record a comment on the issues and
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questions for our candidates. you can still record a video with your opinions. you can also tune in for a one-hour voter voices special on n.e.t. television friday, october 19th at 7:00 central. we have one more voter voices questions in this debate. it comes from philip at winnebagoo, a law student. >> there isn't a lot of discussion at the national level from our elected leadership about environmental issues. the push to extract oil from our land, this country's land. and the other issue would be
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global warming. >> senator fisher, we are talking about environmental issues. we are talking about extracting oil from the land and climate change. >> thank you. i have an energy plan. i have had it out for over a year now. that energy plan is all of the above. we realize that we have an abundance of natural resources here in our state and here in our country, and i believe that they need to be managed, and they need to be managed responsibly. we need to drill for oil. we need to drill for oil on federal lands, off shore, and we need to look at oil shale. we need to look at clean cole -- coal. the united states has a huge amount of coal. here in nebraska we understand the importance of those coal-fired electric plants. that helps us keep our energy rates low for consumers, and low for businesses as well. the governor can tell you when
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he talks to businesses and trying to attract them to our state, those electric costs have a big part to play in that to attract those businesses to come here. so we need to consider that. we need to look at renewables. we need to look at wind. we need to look at solar. we have ethanol, which is a great boone for this state. but you have to have a balanced perspective in order to move forward. with regards to climate change, what matters there is the policies that the united states is going to implement to address climate change. what we have seen from the government in the past is cap and trade, and i don't support cap and trade. >> thank you. senator kerrey? >> i hate to say this, but one of the reasons we have low-cost power, senator fisher because when it comes to electricity, we own the means of product. it is public power, and that is
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why our rates are low. i appreciate you think government should get out of everything, but it is because government is involved that we have low-cost power. that is undeniably true. i am not suggesting we nationalize the oil companies. we need to do all of the above. in the grand island debate, the question occurred, are human beings warming the planet and your answer was not. you can't begin solving a problem unless you can name the problem. i know people don't want a change. i know they are concerned about the cost. but we grow our food outside, and no state is more vulnerable to adverse impacts on weather than neambing. we are at 380 parts per million now and heading up. it is not like taking a piece of trash and throwing it on the ground and somebody can pick it up. it is not like putting led in our glen and hurting the brains of our children for 60 years.
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you get to 500 or 600 parts per million, it takes 1,500 years to reverse it. if we don't do something about this problem -- and i don't disagree about cap and trade. i think there are better ways to do it. but if we don't identify it as a problem and bring our ingenuity and innovation to try to solve the problem, our children aren't thanking us. they are going to ask the question what were you guys thinking? why don't you acknowledge what the scientists were telling you that this is a problem and why didn't you solve it? >> thank you. senator fisher, 30 seconds? >> thank you. the climate changes, but it is our reaction to that with policy. that is what a united states senator addresses. cap and trade is not the policy that this country should be implementing. cap and trade would be a $1,700 tax on american families.
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that number, by the way, comes directly from the obama administration. >> senator, 30 seconds. >> let's stipulate we are not going to do cap and trade. but that is not the issue before us today. senator fisher says human beings are not warming the planet, and i say we are. i say it is a clear and compelling problem, and we need to address it, and we need to have a debate about how we are going to address it and what our strategy is going to be. otherwise this is a problem that is going to wloiferwlem us and why we didn't do anything about it. >> fred has the next question for senator kerrey. >> there is a lot of discussion about lower tax rates by eliminating deductions and loopholes. but one persons loophole is an into in state and local taxes. would you offer specific changes to lower overall tax
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rates? >> the big four are mortgage deduction, and i think you can scale it back. likewise with charitable deduction, state and local. i think there is a great pay off through simplification. you have to believe in it. you have to believe that simplification will generate more revenue. if it generates more revenue, you can't do it. i think there is a huge pay-off to the economy of the state of neambing and to the country through simplification. but you are 100% right. of i have experienced it. there are thousands of laura lobbyists in washington, d.c. paul ryan calls them loophole lobbyists. he is right. they are wearing thousand-dollar suits and getting paid god knows what to protect these loopholes. you can make a case. it sound like you are making the case for the most important thing in the world in each one of these. but you have to believe there is going to be a big pay-off, and i happen to believe there is. senator fisher and i agree with
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the need to cut the corporate rate. but you are not going to do that unless you are doing the right thing for our country and cutting back in the other deductions. 0er wise all it does is increase the size of the deficit. >> thanks. we do need to simplify the tax code. it is 72,000 pages long, and there is by patterson support to do that. we need to lower the corporate tax rate. we are at 35%, the highest among our trading partners. i is suggested over a year ago to lower it to 24%. we need to repeal the death tax. here in nebraska we have done that. we need to see that happen at the federal level as well. we need to repeal the alternative minimum tax. that is a tax that was set up to capture income from wealthier individuals, a parallel tax. instead we see that it is dipping down into the middle-class. now one in five people in the middle-class are paying that
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tax. yes, we need to close loopholes, and i can tell you just in my visits with senators that there is a consensus to move forward in a bipartisan manner to do that. >> senator? >> i agree with us. we patcheders -- passed i.r.s. reform that gave the agency a tremendous amount of power in dealing with the i.r.s. senator fisher has created a glass slipper with a constitutional amendment and a pledge to the governor. that is the glass slipper. all the things she talks about, you can't get it in there. the foot is too big. that is the problem with her plan. >> senator fisher, 30 seconds. >> thank you. i think we were talking about reforming the tax code, and that has to happen. as i said, there is by
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patterson support for it. as i visit with business people across the state, they welcome that. what they want to see is certainty. there is so much risk out there for businesses now. and when you have a tax code that is changing, constantly changing, it is hard to make business decisions. i talk to business people who want to hire, create jobs, hire new employees, but because of the uncertainty we are facing with the fiscal cliff, the tax code that changes constantly, they are concerned. >> thank you. as we wind down our time together, we are going to move into a question of the uncertainty from clean williams. however, the answer will be 30 seconds long from each of you with no rebuttal. so you have to get to that point quick. >> i will read it fast. recently the president called his inability to get the dream act passed his biggest mistake in office. name one specific mistake you have made in office. >> thank you.
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i have mentioned this before. there is a couple out there. one was my first year in the legislature. time moves fast sometimes when you get bills up on the floor. as a new senator i wasn't prepared for a bill, and it passed, and i was opposed to it. but it went through the process so quickly that after that, i have always been prepared when a bi is on the agenda. my staff knows that we will be prepared for that bill, and we know what is going on. >> thank you. >> senator? >> my biggest mistake was arriving there in 1989 not recognized how damaged these political caucuses are. i wish in 1989 i would have been an advocate of the george norris constitutional amendment there. i guess my biggest mistake is not realizing what a mess congress was in washington when i went there in 1989.
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>> thank you. each candidate will now have the opportunity for a 90-second closing statement. we begin with senator kerrey. >> thank you very much. our country faces enormous challenges both at home and abroad. by experience i am prepared to meet them. i have been in the military. i served o.j. the 9/11 commission and the intelligence economy. i am capable of leading in our national security. i know how to balance the budget. i will fight to change our congress. i have already endorsed in this campaign republican proposals to cut spending, and i will do more of that in this campaign. i know i can work with republicans to balance the budget and get our country going in the right direction. i am optimistic. i know we can get this done. you know it is not going to be easy. we are going to have to look at the truth. we are going to have to talk about it as did i when i was a governor and senator before. i believe the most important truth in this is if you want to
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be remembered by future generations for what we did today, we are going to have to change. i want to be the person that makes that change happen so that we are remembered more favorably. we work hard. we love our families. we love our neighbors. we take care of people who can't help themselves, the disabled, the elderly, the men and woman coming back from war with terrible experiences, women who need prenature 58 care and all children who need nourishment of mind, body and spirit. we love our state, nation and world, and we want to do things that are better two it. it would be a prism and honor for me to serve you one more time and i ask for your vote on the 6th of november. >> thank you. senator fisher? >> thank you. we will have a clear choice on election day on november 6th because there are distinct differences between us on practically every issue. i voted for and helped to pass the largest tax relief package
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in the history of the state of neambing. -- nebraska. mr. kerry voted for and passed the largest tax increase in our country. i support a balanced budget amendment. i know that unless politicians have that, they have never stop spending. mr. kerry does not. with health care i believe in a market-based health care system where government doesn't come between a patient and their doctor. mr. kerrey supports government-run health care. i am the only candidate up here with a jobs plan. that would be the fisher plan. i talked about that earlier. if we are going to turn this economy around, we need to cut spending. but we need to provide opportunities for job growth. we need to back government away from small businesses and let small businesses create those jobs. by government reducing regulations, reforming the tax code, reducing energy costs,
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having free and fair trade. that is how we grow an economy. we have done that in nebraska, and we can do this. americans are exceptional people. we have the talent, the will power and the resources, and we can meet these challenges before us. and i do believe in a brighter future for this country. i do believe that we can do this. i want to help build a better america, so i ask for your support, and i ask for your vote. thank you and god bless. >> thank you, senator. that brings us to the conclusion of tonight's n.e.t. news nebraska u.s. senate debate. thanks to senator fisher and senator kerrey for participating. thanks to our panel of journalists and our audience and all of you who you watching or listening at home. this debate will be archived and available on the website and on our facebook page. leave a comment on how you felt the candidates did this evening.
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make a note to watch our one-hour voter voices election special. that will be coming up from n.e.t. news on october 19th at 7:00 p.m. central time. thank you once again from all of us at n.e.t. news for watching us. don't forget to vote on november 6 and goont. >> when nation's sheet on trade, i will do something the president has not been able to do, which is labeled them a currency manipulator. >> we have been winning those cases. >> wednesday, president obama and mitt romney meet in their first presidential debate. watch and engage with c-span with our live debates preview
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at 7:00 p.m. eastern followed by ways to watch the debate. on c-span, the multi camera version of the debate. follow it on c-span and online at c-span.org. >> see the first debates and online at c-span.org. in a few moments, an interview with ross perot, and in a little more than an hour, a forum on how the media is covering the presidential campaign on washington journal tomorrow morning, we will examine the health care law mitt romney signed into law when he was governor of massachusetts.
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our guest is christine mcconnell. we will be joined by the host of reliable sources and laura-born -- ashburn, and we will discuss the recent report on how high school students are doing on the sats. our guest is james montoya. live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> i have all the channels, house, senate, close the book reviews beaches, those kinds of things. i watch which channel i want to see, because i have them all. if there is a speech i know you have covered or a book reviewer, i am going to watch that. when i want to find out
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something that has some value to it, that is going to be one of the first places i look. i am of broadcasting fare in. i watch those channels. i have five or 10 of the most, but it is going to include all the c-span channels. >> c-span, created by american cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your television providers. usa today newspaper features an article on ross perot by richard wallis. c-span travel to ross perot's office on thursday to record interview it is based on. they talk about the currency of the u.s. economy and how the
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issues he ran on are still relevant. this is an hour. >> we are here with ross perot sr. for one of the first interviews he has given in a while. i want to ask how long has it been since you have come in to the public eye and address these issues? >> i have made comments about the national debt and the need to get these problems straightened out now. >> do you think id has been too long since somebody like euan -- like you commanded public intention so you can get them to understand these issues? >> i am not a good judge of that, but we need to clearly describe what has happened and what we need to do to get this
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under control. right now everybody is dancing around instead of facing it. we have got economic cancer at this point. we have got to fix it. >> but was the case in 1992 when you ran your first presidential campaign and still the case in 1992. there was progress we ran surpluses for a few years. now it is worse than it was 20 years ago have gone from 4
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trillion dollars today? >> i am glad you mentioned that number. problem. wait until it iover your wholeget all of these things, really explain the problem, and hopefully we will get people to deal intelligently with the your wife he ran on fiscal responsibility in washington, declining trust in government, in addition to nafta. the truth is we are much worse on all of those issues today than we were in 1992. if you look back at 1992, in part because of the world ross perot did, they did several
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things. impose budget controls and taxes when they thought they were responsible. they did the right thing for the country. president bush 43 -- his term is over. whoever the next president is needs to change course, because if we do not, the problems of europe could have here. >> we are going to talk about some of these issues of 9-11 and the war and the health -- in
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the tax cuts of 1998, but let me take you back to 1992. what caused you to leave a public -- of private life, one of them you have passed on, what caused you to jump into presidential politics? parks i believe every generation has worked and sacrificed to leave a better country who their children and grandchildren and future generations. we are spending their money, and we are leaving a message
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that will be difficult to deal west -- a mess that will be difficult to deal with. the last thing i want to see is our country taken over because we are so financially weak. we are moving in that direction. >> you are thinking of countries buying our debt. >> we fought all over the world in world war ii and won. how long have we been in afghanistan? >> 11 years. good >> that is what i thought, and it is just getting worse we have got to wake up and get the
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right thing done for our country and our future and make sure we leave a stronger country for future generations. >> to you believe in your first campaign but what you did, although you ended up coming in third -- to you believe you had an impact in solving our deficits and debt picture, because things improve vastly from 1993 until 20002000. goodthings improved vastly from 1993 through 2000. >> i do not want to take credit for it, but i am pleased there is a breathing period where we are going in the right direction. now we have heard it around and it is going through the roof and is inexcusable. what is interesting is that hardly ever gets discussed, and in the papers, on the media, you would think this is front- page news.
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it is not. >> absolutely no question that his candidacy caused president clinton to make fiscal responsibility and much higher priority. no question. clinton will tell you that. people in his administration will tell you that. he made the difference even though he did not win. the polls will also tell you in july he was leading. in addition, the exit polls will tell you that the people who voted, if they thought they could have won, they would have voted for him and he would have won. much worse today than we were then, and people know it. >> do you think we're much worse today because he was not elected?
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>> we have lost our way. >> that is history. we're on the edge of the cliff, and we have got to start fixing it now. otherwise we are leaving a disaster to our children and grandchildren and we could even lose our country. if we do not get fixed -- and nobody is talking about what we have to do and why we have to do it. they would prefer not to have it discussed. >> what is happening is we're still coming out of recession, so both candidates, and as president for four years, are using the necessity to dig out from recession before they get to austerity. you could argue that in europe they have tried austerity before the ink out of recession, and that did not do so much good in europe. >> if i told you i do not want to dig out a bite that problem until i go broke, you could say, what are you talking about? that is what you said.
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you're not on to pay your debt if he did not have the money. if things are going downhill and you are running toward that up, you'd make it next to impossible to paint your debt. we need to put on the brakes now. it can be done if we and the house and senate and white house have the will. they should have the full support of the american people to get it done. >> you cannot dig out of a whole, and that is what they are doing. you have to climb out of a whole. in reality we face two problems. we have short-term economic challenges because we have very weak economic growth. we have high unemployment, higher underemployment, and the numbers are higher than the government tells you. we need to do something about it. it has to be coupled with a clear, credible, concrete, and
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enforceable plan to deal with the structural deficit lying ahead. you need to do both. that is the only thing that makes any sense. it is the only thing that makes sense from the standpoint of politics. >> you spoke in 1992 about the campaign, your plan sounded then a lot like some of these bowls simpson's balanced-type plants that are coming out now. you did some of everything. you did not leave out sacred cows. the one that higher taxes, higher gasoline taxes, you wanted the wealthy to pay more weather in higher taxes or not taking entitlements. do you find that willingness to day on the part of candidates to hit all the sacred cows? >> i do not see anybody doing
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it, do you? if somebody is doing it, i am missing it. i thought they would hope this go away and they could run on all these things when you are talking on the television. >> would it take candidate saying you'd need to do all those things, not just going after entitlements cut domestic spending, defense, but also to raise taxes? you need to do all those things, do you feel? >> we need to do whatever it takes to solve this problem, and that probably takes all of these things. overall, you have to deal with this whole problem, and is once you have cancer, just living in denial, which is the best way to describe how we are living now, it gets worse, and that is happening every day. if you look at these charts that we have distributed over the country, and people going from city to city, talking
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directly, and i can hear in my home town they will be talking in the next few days, directly to the people, and we need to get the american people alive and alert, because the typical person running for office is gone to do what ever it takes to get their vote. i do not think he has any sense at all that they want this fixed. if we have that at the grass- roots level, he would have these people with different
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personalities, being reborn, and they would be out on the campaign trail. >> both parties are responsible for our current problems. >> yes. >> governments have lost control of budget, and has waited too long to restructure, but it is not too late. the american people are smarter than most politicians realize. they know we are in trouble. they're willing to accept tough choices as long as they want it to be part of a comprehensive plan that they deemed to be fair. overwhelming support for comprehensive reforms in a range of areas where everything is on the table, minimum support, 76%, up to 100%, based on six key principles that it virtually unanimous support. the president is the chief executive officer of the united states. whoever the next president is, they need to demonstrate extraordinary presidential leadership. they need to use the power of the presidency to go to the american people, as ross perot did in 1992, to build a case that we are on a burning platform, to help them
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understand that everything has to be on the table, to provide principles and a framework for action, and to call the first three words of the constitution "we the people" to work with the president to solve the problem, because if you do not keep the economy strong, everything will suffer over time -- job opportunities, domestic tranquility. >> did you feel in 1992 and 1996, that we can get out of our deficits, and we ran four years of surpluses, prior to 9/11 and other things that happened in the last decade. did you think we had solved our problems? >> no, we were just lucky where weaver going through a good time. now we are any time of bad luck. i would really impressed if our
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president would take this issue right now and explain to the american people what he is going to do, because obviously his opponents would have to get busy, too, right? right now is like one of these things. you do not want to talk about it. >> one of the things i remember about my testimony is when i was comptroller general, was in 2001, when we had a surplus, it was burning a hole in congress' pocket, and they had 16,000 ways to spend the money, either directly or through tax rebates, and i reminded them
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that the surpluses that were projected by the congressional budget office was just that. they were projections. they may or may not occur. we had $20 trillion worth of liabilities and unfunded obligations that were not been accounted for. we had known demographic trends that were going to bring us back to that in the future. today that $20 trillion is $70 trillion and growing by $10 million a minute. thinks happened totally out of control, especially since 2003. >> let's talk about a couple solutions out there. what has gotten worse of the last 20 years is this issue of tax expenditures, tax breaks, for your more courage, for your employer-paid health insurance. i think that the bowles-6 in commission said it was a $1 trillion problem. give us ideas as to what is
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doable there, because the big tax breaks are those that millions of americans rely on. can those be reduced substantially? >> i do not know. i am not smart enough to know. if i were, i would tell you. >> i mean politically. if you were in office today -- >> would you say don't charge as much as you are charging today? >> we are taking this issue head on, and what we are saying is broaden the tax base so eliminate deductions, exclusions, credits come on the individual and corporate sides, lower the top marginal rate, and i will give you four examples of preferences that would be eliminated or change. one, phase out the individual income tax exclusion for health
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care. it ought to be taxed as compensation. we need to phase it out. secondly, charitable contributions. full deduction for charitable contributions because government has grown too big, waited too long to restructure. the charitable sector will become more important. mortgage interest deduction, two houses or one, one house is a need. one home, deduct maximal interest. thirdly, have some type of reasonable limits for retirement savings, but have tougher controls that locked up the money for that, disability, and retirement.
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those get overwhelming support. by the boy, if you can end up reducing the top marginal tax rate, down to 25%, you can eliminate the difference between capital gains and ordinary income without having adverse effects on the economy. that will increase the effective tax rate of people who are well off at the same point in time making it a simpler system. right now we have 46.4% of americans who do not pay any income tax at all. the poverty rate is 15.9%. i do not know what the right number is for people who should not have to pay income tax, but the income taxes from all the constitutional roles of the federal government -- you cannot have 46% getting a free ride, and the people understand that and support that change as well. let's debate what that number is. it is lower than 46%, but we need to have a progressive system.
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>> one of the things that has changed since 1992 is baby boomers were moving toward their retirement. now they are into it. we have the baby-boom generation, when birthrates are at their high estimates are in their mid 60's, started taking social security a few years ago at 62. now they are starting to take medicare. what does that mean to you in general, that we will go through 20 or 30 years of those people moving through the years of their lives when they are entitled to social security, medicare, and other things? what does that mean in terms of your grandchildren's generation? >> we need to start correcting all of that now and not let it continue. it may occur for a while the matter but i do, but the sooner we start correcting it, the sooner we get that out of the
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way. we do not do anything. the point is we are in denial. we need to get out of denial and focus on what we need to do and do it and keep the american people fully informed every step of the way so they know why we did this and what we did that and so on and so forth. but them feel they know they are directly involved, because we're trying to get their money. >> it is a matter of public education, and that is where groups like dave's and other organizations that are trying to beat the drums to get americans to understand what is going on, is that what you feel is most important, educational? >> the first thing, in our country, if i had three wishes -- a strong, moral, ethical base. i had that growing up in the depression. a strong family unit in every home.
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now the divorce rate is over 50%, right? that is destabilizing. when i grew up in the depression of all times, we had the finest public schools in the world and the one thing a democracy must have is a well- educated population. our public schools are at the bottom of the industrialized world. that is the country. the great state of texas, where i went to schools and had an incredible education, is either 47 or 40 night in the 50 states. that is all our responsibility and we can correct that, but with these problems we face now, that is so fundamental about what we must do now, and we cannot pass that off to a house or senate or the state or the federal government. we have to do a lot of that by being involved. >> if you look at our fiscal issues, and if you look at the dimensions of it, it is not
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just economic. we are mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren at record rates, while we are reducing investment in their future at the time that they are going to face and a lot tougher competition in an increasingly interdependent world. that is irresponsible, and ethical, immoral, and it must stop. at the same point in time, how you solve this problem involves important economic, ethical, and moral questions as well. we have to recognize that reality. the clock is ticking. the fuse has been lit. time is not working in our favor, and we better start making progress, and we better get a good fiscal bargained in 2013 or what that is happening in europe can happen here.
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>> let me give you an example. go to our most elite engineering schools. at one time we had more talented engineers than anybody else. we were discovering everything in the world, producing it here. now that has all turned around. it is getting worse by the day. 78% of the people getting ph.d.'s from elite engineering schools either come from china or india, ok? now, 20% come from all over the world. i am up to 98%. that means 2% of the people getting ph.d.'s are coming from the united states, in our most complete engineering schools. that is a recipe for disaster. we do not ever talk about it. we're just letting the thing unraveled.
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what about best new engineering schools, which you will be hearing about in a few days, in dallas, and they have a great school, but guess what -- i asked them onetime how many people they have from china, and this university right here, 2000, added to the top. >> this is an example of how we need to modernize our immigration policy and how we need to change education policy alice well. immigration policy is based on family relationships. it is not based on economic considerations, skills and knowledge. while we need to revitalize education for americans, we need to recognize the extent to which people are coming to america to learn we need to do what we need to do to keep them in america. >> this is our core problem. there trillions of connections in the brain called neurons. they start down at age 6 when they start public school.
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kids at a school soared like eagles, got college scholarships, they got wired. when you know this and you do not talk about it and do not do anything about it, this is another recipe for disaster. our public education system is just really got to be strained out. the teachers' unions are primarily concerned about how much they make a year, and that is not where the concern has to be. it is making sure that children have the funds in education that are needed for education. >> we spend double per person to educate k through 12, double other nations. we do the same thing in health care. we get below-average results. when you get below-average results, the answer is not to throw more money at the system.
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it is to read engineer the system. during more money at a system that is getting those kinds of results is called in sanity. >> it is all about politics. moneyachers' unions give to the guide that is going to take care of them. are you with me? when you look at the chinese and see how bright they are, and they have a huge population, 1.2 billion. that is a giant population. we have 310 million. the sheer size of their population, it is interesting they are getting the best- educated people because of a number of symbols you have to learn about all these other
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things, and we know what we have to do. we just do not do it. my advice would be, if i have an opportunity, let's quit talking about it and just do it. >> you had said when you were comptroller general tried to call attention to this problem, the problem of running deficits and accumulating greater debt, that the country had a budget deficit, a trade deficit, a balance of payments deficit, and the fourth one you brought up was a leadership deficit. >> leadership is the greatest. >> can i ask you both, describe what is the problem with what appears to be in your mind a leadership deficit, that we're not getting the leadership on this key issue either from this president or past presidents, this congress or pass congresses/ what does it take to get elected officials to tackle at an issue, increasing their
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taxes? >> let's start with the families. they will get their attention. the voters have to understand all this, which they did not, and voters need to understand what we have to do to get all this corrected, and they do not. if we ever get that over to the voters, they will vote for the people who are geared up, ready, and know how to do it and are running on that basis, and then we can change this country forever and get us back to where we used to be when i was a boy in the depression. why schoolteachers and would have been doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs today. with luck they were making $200 a month, but they were talented, they brought out the best in all of us. they were by example really fine people, and with the highest qualities. all that got transmitted to the children at class a even if
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they were not getting it at home. >> when you were running you were talking about increasing not necessarily dollars per capita, but investing in education, communications, and transportation. even while trying to reduce deficits and debt, you were talking about the need for certain targeted investments. do you feel that is still true today? >> all you have to do is to look at it and see that it is true today. as long as that goes on, kids are lost. >> we need short-term investments, but they need to be properly designed and the effect of the implemented.
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recent ones have not banned, but they have to be coupled with the concrete and forcible plan to deal with such structural to facets. we need policy reforms, operational reforms, and we need political reforms. on the political side, our country today is dominated by special interests, by the duopoly of political policies, and toward politicians who may or may not have had a real job in their lives, but once elected, they want to keep it. congress works three days a week, and it does not work that many days any year. it does not get paid for performance. if it did, it would owe us money. we need to have redistricting reform, integrated and open primaries, campaign finance reform, and we need to have term limits, 12- to 18-year term limits.
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the fuse has been lit. what we need is two things -- extraordinary leadership from the president of the united states, whoever that is. we need these debates to be more specific, substantive, on these issues so the people can make an informed judgment about who to support and so that whoever wins will have a mandate to act, and then they need to lead. the president is not just the commander in chief. the chief executive officer of united states. this country is in terrible condition and we are losing ground every day. >> they are not doing anything. >> dave mentioned duopoly. established a third party, united we stand and the reform party. do you feel that is needed
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today, that there is something wrong with that two-party system which has gotten more acrimonious, each party back on their 10-yard line? >> any way that can be done, it is almost impossible to do it. it would be a very healthy thing if you could get it done and make it happen, but it is very difficult to do and very few people would want to try to put it there, because they know they are going to be butchered from day one. much of the media will participate actively in that. you have to talk about the politicians. the media has strong views. >> it is hard to get somebody like dave walker willing to put their name out there and run in 50 states and withstand the media scrutiny and the like? >> if you ran for either party, it would be all right. if he created a new party, that would be very difficult.
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i can promise you, because have a huge number of special interests hammering away. >> also, when you did it, you put tens of billions of dollars of your own money into it. today it would take hundreds of millions of dollars of your own money. i wonder whether anyone -- do you think if you were a 62-year- old man today, could you replicate in today's politics with unlimited spending by corporations and unions, could you replicate what you did then at the dollar level? >> if you got the dollars, but you could not get the open- minded look at what you are doing as opposed to everybody at attacking the fact that you are even trying. that is the way things have been, the way things are, and how can you change that? i do not know. if i knew, i of would certainly tell you.
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>> finance reform. >> we have got to get a clean up. >> there is nothing to prevent the congress and the president today from passing a law that would require full and timely disclosure of contributions to these superpacs and others. the supreme court scission did not do that. they are working for themselves and their party. what we need is campaign finance reform. i will give you a simple principle, that the people who can contribute directly or indirectly are people who can vote. news flash -- corporations and unions cannot vote. it is a simple principle, one of the ones we are exposing to the public, and they overwhelmingly endorsed it. most of these areas -- it is
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very common sense. that is what the american people respond to. that is not how our politicians treat us. that is part of the problem. >> don't you think it is interesting in all of these really tough times, we have talked all about these big numbers, that the house, the sense, and the white house did not reduce their salaries? think about it. >> do you think they should? >> if you were in business, you would have to. they need to set the first example of making the cut back for themselves. >> leading by example. >> exactly. >> it is a fundamental principle, especially in business. we need more of that. >> how close do you think we
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are to a crisis? people say the deficit and debt issue will get resolved when they have to resolve a, not when they should resolve it. do you think we're close to a market crisis? to bond buyers of not investing in the united states' debt -- will that happen one of these years? >> of course. it is as common sense. we're not talking about politicians, where talking about people taking money out of their pocket at one time, considering it was the safest investment could make, a treasury bill, right? and now i have every reason to be concerned whether it will last or how long. >> we are living in a dream world right now. there is no such thing as an entitlement. the supreme court said there are two things that under the
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constitution, are guaranteed. number one, military pensions, and, number two, bond holders of u.s. debt. the u.s. will not default on its sovereign debt, but there is a huge interest rate risk, and if you are a foreign investor, there's a huge currency risk in investing in. all the new debt in the last two years has been purchased by the federal reserve, up 70% of that, we are self-dealing in our and debt. we did not have market rates. we have artificially low rates. china, japan, opec nations, because they have positive trade values, but if they buy a 30-year bond? no, they are buying short term, because we have historically low interest rates, the lowest maturity in history, and when the interest rates go up, for everyone% increase, it is $160
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billion a year in new spending for which we get shinola -- nothing. and now up to 5% below average interest rates. >> isn't it interesting that not more people talk about it on television, and the candidate do not spend much time talking about this. it is just like being in denial. >> we did not go through the decade of george w. bush and the last four years of rock obama, but what they have had to deal with, in fairness, is 9/11, a couple of wars that require a lot of spending, the tax cuts of george bush -- i am not sure where you stood on those, but they did eat into the amount of money we had to spend -- and then the recession, which was
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some say close to a depression. did that time prevent us from being able to make deficits and debt a top priority? >> it should not have. it could have, but it should not have come out if people were thinking clearly, if they were well educated, if they even understood this whole damn thing, which they do not. if you say what percentage of the american people understand this, i would say it is a very low number. it to be everybody, and everybody should say this is my country. people should be very active about not letting anything damaged our country. the one thing we have not mentioned at all, there is no question at all in my mind, if we keep going this way, some nation is going to head over here to take us. if they did, they have picked
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the right time, right? i wish every american with the about that, all day, every day, saying we cannot let that happen. we have the greatest country, we have got to get it back there, and we need to keep it there and make it better, not worse. that should be our goal. every year we should look back and say things have gotten a lot better, even after our ideal. we want to still make it better. >> used a word that is commonly used, that the same problem. it is called war. we have not declared war since world war ii. we are not following the constitution of the united states. in 2003, things really spun out of control fiscally.
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three things happened. they were irresponsible individual, collectively they were reprehensible. the second round of tax cuts. secondly, invaded a sovereign nation without declaring war and without paying for it, called iraq. thirdly, medicare prescription drugs was expanded, added $8 trillion in new unfunded sees when medicare was already underfunded $20 trillion. since then we have stimulus programs that are not properly designed and the effectively implemented. we passed for will care act to cover 30 million more people. government today is 24% of the economy, 12 times bigger than 100 years ago, and it is headed to 37% on autopilot. these people live in a dream
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world. >> let me read you two quotes. democrats and republicans blame each other. nobody steps up to the plate and accept responsibility for anything. this city, washington, d.c., we're giving a national press club speech from this city h become a town of media stunt man who posture, creek images, talk, she got off roman candles, but do not accomplish anything. i am wondering if you think you could utter them today in 2012 and they would make just as much sense? has anything improved in the dealings of republicans, democrats, white house, congress -- >> we still have the same problems. that is why everything is going
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downhill, and that is what we have to correct it. like a guy drinking, sooner or later he has got to put a cork in the bottle. he is in denial. it is not that serious, it is not that serious. you have to have the will to do it, and i have said if you had the will as a nation, not congress, not the ordinary -- if the ordinary citizen had that will and could not be jerked around the way we try to manipulate him, we would get this all straightened out. >> there is no question that we are worse today than we were in 1992. washington has total gridlock. the american people are not disheartened. they are disgusted. they are disgusted with that lack of progress on a long list of growing problems, energy problems, environmental problems.
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our health-care system, our tax system. our regulatory policies. washington has taken another five-week vacation. it took a five-week vacation in august, worked two weeks, taking another five-week vacation. if these people did a better job, they would not have to take some much time off to campaign, raising money, because if they did a good job, people will reward you. when you do not do a good job, you have to spend a lot more time doing that. >> do you think we would be better off with a parliamentary system, where one party to control things for a time, and we did not have to deal with a republican house, a senate of democrats, so we are always at this gridlock? we kind of let the supreme court make the decision because the politicians cannot do it. >> we need to work at bath, but i have no idea how, because as you know, that is the way it is.
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it is human nature to maintain the status quo until the things get terrible. then people get flexible. that is the worst time to solve the problem. the best time to solve a problem is when your temperature goes up when the great. he did not wait until it has gone up 20 degrees and realized i have something we cannot fix. that is the same problem in our country. we keep putting it off. the media is participating in this, not trying to discipline it in any way, because it is all news, not good news, but they keep people they're sitting the television. that is not enough. what we do, and i would again one more time say if we do not get the strain that, somebody will take us, and that is the last thing any of us want, and i will keep saying that until, hopefully the nation or somebody say we will not let
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that happen. >> on the parliamentarian system, that would take a constitutional change. the party that controls the parliament also controls government, and then you have more of an ability to get things done. but you also have fewer checks and balances. other countries basis in problems we're talking about in the 1990's. they happen to be parliamentarians systems, but you have to have public education and engagement, extraordinary leadership from the president, and you have to have the first three words of the constitution come alive -- "we the people" -- to work with
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the president, the house, and the senate, to take control. if they do not, throw them out. >> we have had some times since 1992 when we had an uprising. some people give you credit for the republican revolution of 1994, because it was the republicans under newt gingrich who adopted a lot of your tactics and positions. then it was recently we had tea party movement. that was a movement within a political party. do you think it takes that kind of a movement? i am wondering what your thoughts were when the tea party revolution rose up in 2009? >> interesting to see that happen. i was surprised.
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it has had an interesting impact, don't you think? >> yes, interesting. >> not the solution, but it was a healthy thing to happen. >> that shows that average americans are -- >> it wakes up a lot of american citizens. >> my personal view is that he party and the occupy movement had a lot in common. because they are both concerned with a lack of integrity and accountability. in the case of the tea party, they are concerned with the lack of accountability in government. in the case of occupy, it's wall street, and guess what -- they are both right. >> he summed it up beautifully. >> when you were running, it was a matter of people getting to call into an 800-number. now we're into this world of social media, where you can
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tweet something out in a matter of seconds. do you think that would make a third-party iran or any kind of a people's movement easier today than it was 20 years ago when you had to rely on people calling in to a phone number? do you think the computer revolution, which you have been involved since the start, and in particular at the social media revolution of the last several years, should create a situation where you are on twitter, where you can mobilize people more easily? >> sure. >> shouldn't that make the type of solution you are talking about, people demanding change, similar to have? >> that is what we need, and i think that is a good way to do it. >> the problem would be they have the tools today to instantly to mobilize.
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you are saying they do not have the education to know in which direction to go? they're not being educated about the degree of the problem in terms of how deeply into annual deficits and debt we are? >> absolutely no question that social networking, facebook, twitter, provide an opportunity to reach a lot more people a lot quicker than was in the case in 1992. >> i know you are writing a book. your autobiography coming out in a few months. why now? >> people wanted me to do it, so i agreed, and people -- and it will be coming out shortly. it is all about these things we have talked about today, as well as other things.
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i hope it will be useful for the people to get informed and understand that we the people own this country, and we the people have any responsibility to get these things straightened out. and leave our children and grandchildren a much better nation rather than just letting it fall apart. it also helps to have the best public schools in the world, which we did not have any more. it will take a while paired right now, it is important to try to make sure we get all of our people actively involved in understanding these problems. included in the book is an updated set of charts that show all of the fiscal problems of our country.
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you get that free with a book. they fit into the book. >> why don't you show them that beautiful cover? >> i do not know where it is. >> i can grab it right here. >> this is the book coming out, and it will be coming out here pretty soon, but i hope it will be useful to the american people to understand how important they are to the future of this country, and we the people can determine who are leaders are, and we the people must select the right leaders. once we have them in office, keep in close contact with them, so they do not wandering around to special interests. >> you have had a remarkable life, and you have been involved not only in your businesses, but in terms of being p.o.w.'s back from overseas, your involvement in public education.
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since we're focusing in this he interviewed on their presidential campaigns and the issues of deficit and debt, where do you make that portion of your life in terms of your legacy, in terms of your achievement? how do you look at that time when you decided annual deficits and accumulated debt or important enough you would put your name out there and run in all 50 states? >> i did not get done what i wanted to do. that has not happened yet, and this is my last big effort here. this will cover it again. >> do you agree, dave, that you think he is being too humble? >> he is being very modest. he is the biggest philanthropist in the united states that people did not know about because he does most things anonymously. he is a perfect example of when he ran in 1992, he was running
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to make a difference. he put his own money out there, he made the difference, because the issue of fiscal responsibility became a top priority to the clinton administration. they took a number of steps to restore fiscal sanity. we had four years of unified surpluses, but we have lost our way since then. it started in 2003. that is when i spoke out at the national press club, and if has only gotten worse since. he is reiterating with his book, with new updated charts, and we are trying to help make sure the public has the facts, and can be involved in solving this problem.
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